Slideshow

Google Street View envelops Australia

You’ll never be alone again

  • The coverage of major cities is comprehensive, with every publicly accessible road available for viewing.

  • Regional centres are also included in the Street View service.

  • Unveiled on the company’s Google Maps Web site today, Google Street View is an amazingly comprehensive photographic guide to almost all Australia’s major roads and cities. We go for a little test drive…
    Like a toxic blue fungus, the Street View zones cover much of Australia, with the east and west coasts almost completely catalogued. Darwin is the only capital to be left untouched, with Katherine being the northernmost area photographed.

  • A notable exception to the launch’s coverage is Uluru and areas of Central Australia. Permits to photograph areas of the Northern Territory were submitted by Google, but imagery is still being processed for that area.

  • The ability to report ‘inappropriate’ images is also available. Whatever the content — whether for privacy concerns or otherwise — it can be selected, categorised and reported to Google’s engineers for review.

  • The software isn’t flawless, however, with only one figure in this photograph having automatic blurring applied.

  • The resolution of the service itself is acceptable enough for casual viewing. It won’t be enough to print off a picture of your house and frame it, but it will suffice for online tourism.

  • The service’s software, in addition to lacking the resolution to distinguish people’s features, also has automatic blurring to prevent possible identification.

  • The cameras mounted on the Street View vehicles have captured a full range of detail, mimicking the range of motion offered by the human head. Looking directly down doesn’t show the street view vehicles, but rather an interpolated image of the road created from surrounding images.

  • The cameras have caught plenty of people in their day-to-day lives — a scene from The Rocks in Sydney’s CBD.

  • Personal privacy is still maintained to some extent, with the resolution of the cameras unable to capture car licence plates and facial detail.

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