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Google unveils Street View across Australia

NEWS.com.au

August 05, 2008 12:01pm

Google Street View Australia
Street View ... a map of Australia showing where Street View is available (in blue), left, and the tool itself, right / Google
Google Street View Australia
AUSTRALIA will today become the third country to have its cities, streets and landmarks "scanned into" Google as the search giant unveils its most ambitious Street View project to date.

Google Street View is an online tool that lets users take a virtual tour of landscapes from their computer by perusing an interactive database of millions of 360-degree snapshots.

The snapshots are taken by a fleet of cars fitted with special cameras that drive across the country, capturing images on every street corner and along every highway.

The technology has so far been used to create virtual replicas of major US cities and the route of this year's Tour De France, but Google will today unveil its most comprehensive Street View project to date – the mapping of virtually all of southeast Australia and much of the east and west coasts.

Click here to take a virtual tour of Australia via Street View »


Seen anything weird on Street View? Email us at news@news.com.au or SMS / MMS 0429 300 245

Users will be able to wander the streets of Australian cities and towns from Port Douglas to Perth and along the Stuart and Eyre highways that cross the country, as well as view icons such as the Australian War Memorial and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Google product manager Andrew Foster said that because the company's mapping tool was based on technology developed in Australia, it was excited to bring Street View to the country.

"Google Maps has its origins as an Australian invention so we're thrilled to bring Street View here as one of the first countries in the world," he said.

Google Maps, the online mapping service that incorporates Street View, is based on a product created in Sydney by Where 2 Technologies that was purchased by Google in 2004.

Mr Foster said the company's ultimate goal was to have every road catalogued on Street View. Australia will be the country most covered by the technology, but there are notable exceptions.

Uluru will be absent from Google Street View Australia at launch. Google spokesperson Rob Shilkin said the search giant had applied for the relevant permits to photograph the Northern Territory, but that images of some areas were still being processed.

Street View Australia would be updated in "a few months" with more images, and Street View in general was updated "from time to time", Mr Foster said.

The Google Street View fleet of cars – which company representatives made a point of identifying as Holden Astras – began capturing images across Australia last November.

In response to security concerns raised in the US, Google said last year its Street View service would not identify faces or license plates in Australia.

The company has recently introduced an automatic face-blurring technology designed to obscure the identities of people caught in the lens of Street View. Mr Shilkin said that the low resolution of images would prevent vehicle number plates from being identifiable.

Users can also report any Street View images they believe to be inappropriate through a link on the website. Mr Foster said it would take anywhere between a few minutes to "a day or so" to remove to offending images once they were reported.

Links

Google Maps Australia – http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=a...

Google Street View is great for online real estate marketing as it provides a free virtual tour of the front of your property. This is particularly good for private sellers as it is...

(Read More)

Rodney of www.privatepoint.com.au

Comments on this story

Rodney of www.privatepoint.com.au Posted at 8:18am September 17, 2008

Google Street View is great for online real estate marketing as it provides a free virtual tour of the front of your property. This is particularly good for private sellers as it is another cost affective marketing means for them..........go Google!

Rachael McLachlan of Adelaide Posted at 11:23am August 20, 2008

**Google street view is one of the best creations** 2nd to the internet itself! If you want it to be removed from the internet then you might as well say that online real estate should be banned as well, its the same thing is it not? pictures of houses, some with virtal tours with their address clearly written. Think about that! I say keep up the great work Google!!!!!

Tristan of Melbourne Posted at 4:04pm August 13, 2008

"Phew. No pictures of me strutting my front verandah nude." Posted by: harry the hobo 1:33pm August 05, 2008 But surely you haven't always been indoors since Dec 2007, how do you know there aren't pictures of you for instance, picking your nose or being drunk outside another Google Streetview address?

Tristan of Melbourne Posted at 3:49pm August 13, 2008

Great opinion piece about pitfalls of Google Streetview.... "Why we should be afraid of Google Streetview" http://apcmag.com/why_we_should_be_afraid_of_google_streetview.htm Extract : "Whether reasonably or not, people do feel differently about having the pics of their homes published worldwide, compared to any one person at any one time deciding to walk down the street and take a photo. Sure, anyone could find someone else's address in the phone book (unless they use an unlisted number). Sure, you could go to that street, take a photo, and put it on your personal Website. But it's fair to say that Google is acting on a completely different scale to someone looking you up in the phone book: it's taken hundreds of thousands of photos, and instead of posting them on a personal Website that nobody looks at, it's put them in front of millions and millions of eyeballs."

VonEirlys of Sydney Posted at 11:09am August 12, 2008

How do find out the date of the photo taken of the street view?

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