Today Google has finally announced that their street view service has launched in the UK.
Image credit: screenshot from Google maps
As reported on the Brand Republic website:
LONDON – Google has launched its Street View service in the UK which offers ground level pictures of streets in 25 cities including London, Belfast, Cardiff, Manchester and Edinburgh.
The Street View system takes pictures of streets and inserts them onto Google Maps to allow users to view locations online.
For example, people can view restaurants and hotels they want to visit before arrival.
Google said UK businesses would benefit from the technology by embedding Google Maps directly onto their site for free to promote their outlet.
The launch was opposed by privacy and civil liberties campaigners in the UK, but the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) gave the system the green light in July last year.
Google said that Street View only holds images that are already visible from public roads and has technology that blurs faces and licence plates.
Users also have the option of flagging images for removal that they feel are inappropriate, by clicking on a bar entitled ‘Report a concern’ on the site.
Visit Britain, FancyaPint.com, The London Mayor and Tate have partnered with Google in the system and selected a gallery of Street View images that showcase UK tourist attractions.
Street View first launched in the US in May 2007.
It’s about time Google updated their street view inventory to include the UK. It is also available on their mobile maps application which is fantastic – now you can see what the building looks like that you’re about to head towards.
If you are new to street view – simply go to maps.google.co.uk and enter a location or postcode. On the top of the zoom slider, you will see an orange person icon – just drag this onto the map and if street view is available, the streets will be outlined in blue. Also when you search, the search result on the map may now also include a street view option.