Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Google Street View launched for Australia

Google had launched its new Street View option for Google Maps in Australia this week, giving users the opportunity to view locations around the country as images - including extensive coverage of the main urban areas. The new tool can be accessed here or from a new button when searching on Google Maps, so that users can now view maps, aerial images from Google Earth and also street level pictures from the new option.

The images have been gathered by cars touring streets with roof-top cameras since last November, capturing continuous images so that users can 'travel' along streets, rotate the image view and zoom in and out. The quality of these new street images has generated a lot of concern about privacy since they were first launched in the US and Google has taken steps to blur the faces of people caught on camera or car number plates.

Nevertheless, for most people, this will be another useful tool from Google, both for the initial novelty value but also to identify and view locations prior to visiting, or when planning a journey. More countries are in the process of being photographed by Google, who are intending to eventually create a 'ground-level' record of much of the world.

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