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Google is enhancing its Google Maps Service With Street Views

In an unprecedented campaign, Google is enhancing its Google Maps service with a new Street View feature that allows you to view crisp, navigable photos of roads in nine major cities across the United States, including San Francisco, New York, San Diego, and Denver. (To see the full list, go to maps.google.com and click the Street View link on the upper-right corner.)

Once you zoom in close enough, you can click the Street View link and look around the location, or click an arrow to see the next Street View photo.

To snap the pictures, Google mounted digital cameras on the roof of passenger cars — reportedly Chevy Cobalts, according to the tech blog Gizmodo — and drove around San Francisco and San Diego.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company partnered with Immersive Media for the underlying photo technology and has worked with third-party firms for street-level photography for the additional cities outside of California. Only San Francisco and San Diego use high-resolution street-level images, however. Other cities use lower-res captures.

Street View could be a boon for “landmark drivers” who prefer driving instructions such as “Turn left at the large brick church, and drive until you get to the pizza place on the corner” as opposed to “Meet me at Second Street and Fourth Avenue.” It certainly reveals how far Google will go to prove its mapping prowess — and, incidentally, attract users to more localized advertising.

According to Greg Sterling at Sterling Market Intelligence in Oakland, Calif., Google has a Business Referral Representative program that sets a precedent for localized involvement. That program involves Google representatives providing local business information and photos to Google for a fee. Sterling said that precedent for collecting local information and photos is being continued with the Street View program. Street View is “about creating more utility for consumers, which in turn will lead indirectly to ad revenue over the longer term. Google has long focused on small businesses and local users, so this is just trying to take those efforts to the next level,” Sterling said.

Still, regardless of whether Street View is purely a mapping enhancement or a new play for ad revenue, there is tough competition from Microsoft and others. There are also some nagging privacy issues to deal with, plus the sheer magnitude of the project

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August 24, 2007 - Posted by | Gadget, google, Google Maps

1 Comment »

  1. instead google has decided to blur the views of streets its providing

    Comment by nishugoyal | August 24, 2007 | Reply


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