View Full Version : Google street view...
03-11-2010, 10:18 AM
Goes live and wide today and its really astonishing if your in the UK tho the US and other countries are pretty widely covered now too. 95% of UK covered - so far I have found only one public main road not covered. This is an incredible achievement but its pretty scary too since despite all the blurring and so on you can still make out a number of license plates and faces. The pics are still over a year old.
I checked Iwaizumi but its not covered but large parts of Japan are now.
So what do you think - you for or against ! Population here and in other countries like Germany seem very split on it tho unless your China or similar it seems that you wont get a say in the result anyway.
03-11-2010, 10:39 AM
Thought id share some good spots now...
(Ill edit them in.)
And to show how small our mountains are, Ben Nevis the highest in UK.
03-11-2010, 10:41 AM
I have to say that I am for it. It's a great way to get an idea of an area if you're moving there and we've even used it to find out the name of a restaurant we'd been to but forgotten. It's been live over here for a year or so and I think it's great.
03-11-2010, 10:50 AM
Its been live with very selected coverage for ages but its been whooped up today. If you haven't been on it today then try it again !
03-11-2010, 11:49 AM
Wow, just looked up my parent's house in Scotland. It wasn't on until today and it's in the country so I had expected it to not be on there. But that's very cool.
03-11-2010, 02:37 PM
I was hoping to see my car parked outside my house, but no such luck! ;)
Certainly an amazing bit of technology. :)
03-11-2010, 02:56 PM
I just noticed yesterday that Victoria, BC had finally made it up. Amazingly clear photos, but also somewhat disturbing for the privacy crowd (on which I exists in various forms). My downstairs neighbor was quite upset that you could see in everyone's windows (including the big TV/stereo setup one had) and especially her daughter's room. The license plates I noticed while searching town were blurred as were most faces. It is fascinating tech, and, as with copywrite/DRM/piracy etc, I think that privacy expectations and beliefes will be broken, refined, changed, adjusted, and all that as the technology moves forward and becomes part of our lives. Alas, the photo of my sticking my tongue out at a mapping vehicle (might not have been google's) wasn't up! :D
It was delayed in Canada until the privacy commission could be satisfied that licenses and faces would be guaranteed blurred.
One of the more surprising uses I heard of was programatically looking for one-way street signs to then feed back the information to street map data companies.
03-11-2010, 05:23 PM
aww they turned they camera off (or on) two doors down from me, so my house isn't on there (then again, that is probably a good thing)
03-11-2010, 06:30 PM
We have had Google Street view for my Area of Surrey, BC for a while now. I like it, because I can find things by looking at a 'What will I see when I am there' to help me find destinations.
03-11-2010, 06:34 PM
I can't wait for 24/7 google street videos go live. :D
I'm guessing privacy IS the big issue with Google street view and other google technologies. I basicly think street view is a good idea - nice to see where you're going if you're travelling or just trying to find out how to get to a store somewhere. But in Denmark its not legal to take pictures of people on private ground, so there are allready some issues there. In addition to that we have the new - take a picture of something and we'll google it for you function they have made - also a good idea, but with big brother scaryness one cannot help to think that face recognition software has been a reality for several years, so when can we shoot a photo of a random person and google them? ... cause google knows more about you than your mother ;)
03-12-2010, 07:08 AM
I think that the way we have in the UK is basically OK. Here if you are stood on public ground then you can take a photo even if it includes private areas which has caused problems when you have people like the press with long lenses. So basically if you don't want it public then you have to cover it up from the public street. The issue here has been with how well do you have to cover it. The cameras on the google vans are at about 10' - 15' up so they are significantly higher than a persons head. So taking it to extremes then you could have a long pole and drive around which I think would not be considered playing fair. Still, I have seen activists fly model aircraft right next to but not into military bases and that was apparently within the law so its very lax here.
The issue for me is not the taking of the photo but the publishing of it. Its a photo of private grounds being published globally. Its within the law but you will find that google make exceptions for all sorts of high ranking people in the same way that councils, police and politicians are exempt from some laws because of security. That's where I don't like it in that some people are deemed more worthy of having security than others. Its all gone very Animal Farm over the last few years here.
The other obvious problem is personally identifiable info like car number plates. You can read mine on it tho luckily my car is not outside my house at the time it was taken. If you can then set up a camera on a road doing auto number recognition then you can then match it back to whose house its from and then you know its empty. That's not a good idea at all. If I knew the people I saw the blurred faces of then I would be able to recognize them. The blur just delays the process. Its not even just faces and number plates tho but for now these are the two that are the issue and that have been vigorously scrapped by our gov.
In the same way that Rob said that you can scrape the data for one way streets I think in the future private companies other than google will be scraping the data for much more than this. If with photosynth you can model a 3D place using flickr photos then it seems a no brainer to model all of britain in 3D with the google views. When you get that you will then be able to extract even more private info from it and possibly set up new taxes based on the data. Theres lots and lots of potential bad from all of this to go with the good that we have right now. The thing is even if its not google doing it then you might have had another company do it and keep all the data private so you dont get any benefit at all from it. So in spirit its been a good thing but it worries me what kind of future were all allowing ourselves to have other people build for us. It seems to me like people are putting up the bars to the cell and asking us what color we would like them painted and all of us are arguing about the color with only a few of us saying we don't want bars and even fewer taking them down.
More and more people don't seem to care about their privacy, preferring to reveal all sorts of things "publicly".
Like the foursqaure twitter (http://twitter.com/search?q=4sq%20-%40foursquare) (aka Please Rob Me - I'm not at home right now).
03-19-2010, 03:09 AM
Yeah. I was momentarily tempted to put up the Google StreetView of my house. Then I realized: from that view, you can easily determine the location of my house. Hmm. I tend to a-hole up way more often than I'd like. I don't want a few million annoyed people on my doorstep. Chose not to put it up.
'Sides, you can see me through the open window getting out of the shower. No one wants to see that :)!
03-19-2010, 11:17 AM
Heh - Noooo we dont want to see that. Theres enough sillyness on it already... Check these out :)
El reg doing its usual top job of tracking them like the tech equivalent of Hello magazine...
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