Google rolls out major Street View upgrade

The popular and controversial map imagery service is getting new street-level photo collections

Google announced on Thursday what the company terms the "biggest ever update" to its popular and controversial Street View map imagery Web-based service.

Google has doubled the number of Street View special collections and has updated imagery of more than 250,000 miles of roads, the company said in a blog post.

Street View coverage has been broadened in 11 countries, including the U.S., Sweden, the U.K., Italy and Singapore, and special collections have been launched for South Africa, Japan, Spain, France, Brazil, Mexico and other countries.

Street View, a feature of Google Maps, gives users continuous, panoramic, ground-level images of map sections, letting people virtually explore neighborhoods, including even the inside of some buildings, like museums, restaurants and stores. However, the service has often been criticized over personal privacy and national security concerns, and for those reasons has been challenged in court by groups and individuals and limited by the governments of some countries.

Google's biggest Street View controversy erupted in May 2010, when the company disclosed that for years the cars used to take the photos had also collected data from unsecured Wi-Fi networks whose signals they detected. This data included networks' names (SSIDs) and their routers' unique identifying numbers (MAC), website traffic logs, text of email messages and user names and passwords.

In the latest upgrade, Street View users can take virtual strolls through Russia's Catherine Palace and Ferapontov monastery, Taiwan's Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Vancouver's Stanley Park and the interior of Kronborg Castle in Denmark, where Shakespeare's "Hamlet" takes place. "You can even walk through the urban jungle of Singapore's Fort Canning Park, without ever leaving home," Ulf Spitzer, Street View program manager, wrote in the blog post.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?