Business - Written by Jeff Perron on Monday, April 13, 2009 13:42 - 13 Comments
Google Street View Car: Pose or Hide?
The Google Street View vehicles are kicking up dust traveling the streets of cities across the world. They are also stirring debate. The Google Street View feature of Google Maps allows users to see street-level panoramic photos of citiscapes and countrysides. To obtain images for the feature, Google parades its Street View cars down streets and highways, snapping photos of nearly anyone and anything that crosses the lens of its camera, which is mounted on the top of the vehicle (see picture).
Earlier in the month, residents of Buckinghamshire in the UK, chased one of the cars out of the village (see this article). Buckinghamshire resident Paul Jacobs was one of the less-than-content locals: “My immediate reaction was anger; how dare anyone take a photograph of my home without my consent? This is an affluent area. We’ve already had three burglaries locally in the past six weeks. If our houses are plastered all over Google it’s an invitation for more criminals to strike. I was determined to make a stand, so I called the police.”
UK residents’ reaction is similar to those in other regions of the globe. Needless to say, Google has received countless complaints and experienced considerable “civilian resistance.” Residents of Toronto, however, are in somewhat of a gleeful frenzy over the opportunity to see or be caught on camera by the Street View car. Perhaps they have been inspired by the Waldo sightings in France, Italy, and London.
The Toronto Star has been encouraging readers to comment on or Tweet about any Street View car sightings in the city. The excitement has street performers and members of the general public prepping for an opportunity to get in front of the Street View camera.
Google’s photography of any and every face and object in the city has not aroused gleeful excitement in all Torontonians. For better or worse, however, the Street View car’s arrival has aroused greater excitement than any professional sports team in Toronto has in quite some time (with the exception of one).
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