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Google beings collecting Street View data in India


Abhirr V P,CNN-IBN
Jun 02, 2011 at 12:56pm IST

New Delhi: Internet giant Google's long awaited and very ambitious project Streetview is ready to map and explore everything on Indian streets with its new application Google Streetview.

This software will show you everything from a high rise to a small restaurant. Google Streetview unlike Google earth allows you a 360 degree view of your favourite street.

The sophisticated cameras mounted on this vehicle continuously takes photos of a particular street. They're then processed and stitched together for a 360 degree view. Google India says streetview's applications can be of use to almost everyone

Product Head, Google India Vinay Goel said, "Think about the fire truck that has to come in for an emergency, they can scope out the place before they are going there, they can find the water body nearby. If you were going to book an hotel room and it claims to be near the beach you can check out the hotel and check whether it’s actually true."

Google India says it has no deadline to map every street in India but there are several questions being asked as to whether this will create a security problem.

"We are only driving on public roads and taking publically available imagery so what we are not doing is going into a specific installation and taking private pictures and obviously we are working with the authorities so if there are certain locations they don't want us to be there we won't go there, we are happy working with the authorities here," Goel said.

But a camera on a vehicle also raises several privacy issues and in several countries like Austria and Germany, Google has got into trouble over it.

"We blur out everyone's faces, if there is an individual walking down the street, we blur their face and we also blur out license plate data, so from that perspective no one really knows who is on the street," Goel added.

Google India will soon start the Street View project in other metros like Delhi and Mumbai but will it be able to convince the government that Google Street View is not a security risk?

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