Sunday, August 10, 2008

Google Street View Hits Australia

Google Maps Australia: Street View

You've probably heard or seen this new Google service.  According to the
blurb on the site:
"Explore Australia at street level...
 Use Street View to:
 * Take virtual walks; pan, rotate and zoom
 * Explore cityscapes, landmarks, points of interest
 * Find shops, restaurants, parks, hotels and more"

I've taken a virtual walk down my street.  Since the garbage bins are
out, the Google-mobile probably took the snaps on a Wednesday in summer.
I also had a look at my old neighbourhood, and things have changed quite
a bit in recent years.

Of course people have been using it for other purposes...

"Google snaps liars, cheaters, and slackers"
"A day after its launch, Google's Australian Street View has already
 uncovered a lying neighbour, sprung a cheating spouse and snapped a
 man sleeping on the job, as armchair explorers pick apart the invasive
 new mapping tool."

... which has angered some privacy groups:

"Web snooping has just gone streets ahead"

"Google Street View told: keep off, private"

The SMH site has a couple of interesting picture galleries:
* Australian Street View discoveries
* Street View favourites

There are also sites dedicated to collecting such pictures, e.g.:

The "Best Google Street View Sightings Site"