A road junction in Manchester, England, showing 9 angles.
|Initial release||May 25, 2007|
|Stable release||Release 26 / June 8, 2010
More locations added:
|Available in||English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Japanese, Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese|
Google Street View is a technology featured in Google Maps and Google Earth that provides panoramic views from various positions along many streets in the world. It was launched on May 25, 2007, originally only in several cities in the United States, and has since gradually expanded to include more cities and rural areas worldwide.
Google Street View displays images taken from a fleet of specially adapted cars. Areas not accessible by car, like pedestrian areas, narrow streets, alleys and ski resorts, are sometimes covered by Google Trikes (tricycles) or a snowmobile. On each of these vehicles there are nine directional cameras for 360° views at a height of about 2.5 meters, GPS units for positioning and three laser range scanners for the measuring of up to 50 meters 180° in the front of the vehicle. There are also 3G/GSM/Wi-Fi antennas for scanning 3G/GSM and Wi-Fi hotspots. Recently, 'high quality' images are based on open source hardware cameras from Elphel.
Where available, street view images appear after zooming in beyond the highest zooming level in maps and satellite images, and also by dragging a "pegman" icon onto a location on a map. Using the keyboard or mouse the horizontal and vertical viewing direction and the zoom level can be selected. A solid or broken line in the photo shows the approximate path followed by the camera car, and arrows link to the next photo in each direction. At junctions and crossings of camera car routes, more arrows are shown.
On November 21, 2008, Street View was added to the Maps application installed on the Apple iPhone. On December 10, 2008, Street View was added to the Maps application for S60 3rd Edition. Street View has now also been added to the Windows Mobile and BlackBerry versions of Google Maps. All versions of Google Maps for the Android OS features Street View, and the digital compass can be used to look around the locations.
Globe Genie uses Street View to transport users to a random spot somewhere across the world. As more countries are added, the service will become faster and more diverse.
|Expand to show list of introductions by date|
Note: Bold indicates locations available in newer 'high quality' view, and italic bold indicates locations partially available in high quality view. Virtually all locations in Europe have the high quality view. Google will send camera cars to re-take the older low quality images in the United States, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Google Street View was first introduced in the United States on May 25, 2007, and until November 26, 2008, featured camera icon markers, each representing at least one major city or area (such as a park), and usually the other nearby cities, towns, suburbs, and parks. Many areas that had coverage were not represented by icons.
Google Street View was first introduced in the United States on May 25, 2007, and only covered areas of the United States until July 2, 2008. Currently, images can be seen in at least nine countries (although parts of other countries can be seen from locations located near national borders; for example, large portions of Vatican City can be viewed from Rome's streetview). Introductions have generally occurred every 2 days to 100 days. Up until November 26, 2008, major cities (and early on, the only cities) were marked by camera icons, more of which were added each time. Then, all camera icons were discontinued in favor simply of "blue" coverage.
The United States was the first country to have Street View images and was the only country with images for over a year following introduction. Early on, most locations had a limited number of views, usually constrained to the city limits and only including major streets, and they only showed the buildings up to a certain height. Few suburbs or other nearby cities were included.
After the first few sets of introductions, image collections from cities added were more detailed, often including every side street, especially in areas closer to the center of the city. More suburbs and other nearby cities were included.
The coverage of various cities has in many cases, subsequently been enlarged and improved, but not necessarily on the same date as new cities have been added. Improvements have included the additions of streets in neighborhoods where previously only main roads had been covered, expansions to more suburbs, and views to the sky where previously only views to a certain height were provided.
Initially when a group of cities were added, only those cities and their own suburbs would be a part of the image collection. But June 10, 2008 introductions also included cities in covered areas without camera icons and isolated from any other camera icons. Many more cities were added without icons on August 4, when the only U.S. city added with an icon was New Orleans.
On December 9, 2008, extensive coverage of the United States was added. This included full coverage of all large and most medium-sized urban areas and most major highways and connecting arteries throughout the 48 contiguous states.
On March 18, 2009, extensive coverage of the United States was added including most of the coverage of Delaware, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and South Dakota. For a period of time some coverage was deleted (such as in northern Minnesota.)
In Canada, Google Street View cars had been spotted as early as September 2007, in Montreal.
In Mexico, first reports of sightings came in from Mexico City as early as April 2009 and now Google Street View cars are being spotted in many Mexican states.
On October 7, 2009, Street View was made available for several large Canadian cities, as well as Banff National Park and Whistler, British Columbia (one of the sites from the 2010 Winter Olympics); coverage of the United States was also further expanded, although some key areas have yet to be added. With the addition of Hawaii on November 9, 2009, all fifty states are now represented in Street View.. At the same time, more locations in the USA in other areas were added.
On December 2, 2009, eight more Canadian cities were added, from east to west St. John's, Sherbrooke, Sudbury, London, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Victoria. At the same time, more landmarks in USA were added. By January 21, 2010, more American landmarks appeared on Street View, including San Diego Zoo and Sesame Place.
On February 10, 2010, many more areas of Canada (barring extremely northern and rural areas) were added. Of note, ski runs on Whistler Blackcomb Resort is also covered in this update. The update also added further coverage of Alaska in the US and some more cities in Mexico. Using Street View, it is now possible to "drive" almost to the shore of the Arctic Ocean in Alaska along the Dalton Highway; in Canada, the northernmost community currently imaged is Inuvik, Northwest Territories off the Dempster Highway.
On April 15, 2010, more areas of Mexico were uploaded. Although complete coverage has not yet occurred (in some cities only main streets are imaged), numerous locations including communities in Baja California and Ciudad Juárez now had extensive street-level coverage with this update.
The first views anywhere outside the United States were introduced on July 2, 2008, when the Tour de France route was added. Nineteen camera icons, each indicating part of a French city or town and Cuneo, Italy, were included.
On October 14, 2008, camera icons were introduced in six French cities, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris and Toulouse. At the same time, all other icons that had been introduced in France on July 2, as well as the one of Cuneo, Italy, were removed, representing the first time in Street View's history that a camera icon that once marked a place was removed. But the amount of coverage that France had since July 2 was not diminished.
On March 18, 2009, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands were added. In the case of Great Britain, only major centres were uploaded and even coverage of those city centers was incomplete. For example, Edinburgh was missing Street View images of two of its key thoroughfares: Princes Street and the Royal Mile (although portions of both were visible from adjoining streets that had been imaged). This was rectified with a later update.
In May 2009, Google Germany released a list of German cities that will be scanned or rescanned in May and June 2009.
On August 18, 2009, Switzerland and Portugal were added.
On October 7, 2009, the Czech Republic was added.
On November 9, 2009, more locations in the Netherlands and Spain were added.
On December 2, 2009, more locations in France and Italy were added as well as various tourist sites in England.
On January 20, 2010, Sweden and Denmark were added, as well as more locations in the United Kingdom, Italy (7 regions are full covered), Portugal, the Czech Republic (mostly Prague) and the Netherlands.
On February 9, 2010, Norway and Finland were added, with coverage of much of southern Norway and most of Finland. Imagery was updated for parts of the UK as well.
On March 11, 2010, 95% of the United Kingdom's roads, both rural and urban, covering a total of approximately 238,000 miles, were added. More locations in the Netherlands were added too.
On April 15, 2010, some major UK tourist attractions were added including Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures, Legoland Windsor and the Sea Life Centre in Weymouth.
Japan was also introduced on August 4, 2008. Japan's coverage is currently concentrated in five areas with a total of 10 camera icons. The service has faced criticisms from bloggers in Japan of cultural insensitivity.
Google Street View camera cars were spotted in the streets of Singapore in October 2008. On December 2, 2009 Street View imagery of Singapore was made available.
In early 2009, camera cars with the Google Street View labels were spotted in Hong Kong's streets. On August 18, 2009, Taipei, Taiwan was added. On October 7, and December 2, 2009, more locations in Japan were added. On January 21, 2010, more Taiwan locations are added. At the same time, more Japanese locations are added. Unusually, while Street View images are, at present, primarily collected during daylight hours, a number of Taipei streets were imaged at night.
On March 11, 2010, Google Street View for Hong Kong, Macau, and more locations in Japan were launched.
On August 4, 2008, the long-anticipated image collection of Australia was introduced. At this time, 18 camera icons were added. Extensive mapping of New Zealand was included on December 1, 2008. On December 9, 2008, Darwin, Australia, and other locations were included. On October 30, 2009, Google Australia announced that they would be sending its fleet of cars back on the road from November 2009 to update Street View Australia with new images. Google has said that the imagery will be available online sometime during 2010, but has not provided a specific timetable.
On September 1, 2009, Google announced that it started collecting images in South Africa for Google Maps Street View. Google is currently driving around South Africa in Toyota Prius, taking photographs of locations in the cities of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban and East London. Google Trikes are also being used for the first time to map popular tourist destinations, such as the scenic Chapman's Peak Drive and Table Mountain in Cape Town, Soccer City in Johannesburg, and the new Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Images of South Africa were made available on Google Street View on June 8, 2010.
Google maintains an official map of all areas covered by Google Street View.
|Expand to show list of areas covered in Africa|
|Expand to show list of areas covered in Asia|
|Expand to show list of areas covered in Europe|
|Expand to show list of areas covered in North America|
|Expand to show list of areas covered in Oceania|
Google has stated that its ultimate goal is to provide street views of the entire world, although the company has not disclosed in advance the exact dates when any particular locations will be added. A list of the places Google Street View vehicles are currently driving is available.
|Continent||Countries & Regions|
|Europe|| Alderney , Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Greece ,
Guernsey, Hungary, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey , Latvia, Luxembourg , Poland,
Romania , Slovakia 
|South America||Argentina, Brazil, Chile|
In addition, On 20 August 2009, The manager of Google Maps Chinese, Lin Yukuan said the Google street view in China Mainland would launch. He said people in China Mainland would see Google street view in China Mainland in a few years, but some policies had not been resolved.
Google has used three types of car-mounted cameras in the past to take Street View photographs. Generations 1-3 were used to take photographs in the United States. The first generation was quickly superseded and images were replaced with images taken with 2nd and 3rd generation cameras. Second generation cameras were used to take photographs in Australia. The shadows caused by the 1st, 2nd and 4th generation cameras are occasionally viewable in images taken in mornings and evenings. The new 4th generation cameras will be used to completely replace all images taken with earlier generation cameras. 4th generation cameras take near-HD images and deliver much better quality than earlier cameras.
In October 2009, Google introduced the Street View Trike, a pedal tricycle with a 4th generation camera mounted to take images where cars cannot reach. All streetview images taken now will be taken with the 4th Generation streetview cameras.
In February 2010, Google introduced the Street View Snowmobile, a snowmobile with a 4th generation camera mounted to take images on the Whistler Blackcomb Ski Slopes in preparation for the winter olympics in Vancouver, Canada .
Google plans to re shoot areas with pre-4th generation cameras with 4th generation cameras.
From left to right. 1st, 2nd, and 4th Generation Streetview cameras.
Google's first street view van camera
Google's second street view camera
Google's third streetview camera, similar to the second but with 3D mapping
Google's latest camera, which takes near HD imagery as well as 3D mapping.
Comparison of streetview cameras. The first image was taken with either the first, second or third generation street view camera; and the second image was taken with the fourth generation street view camera. As you can see, the fourth generation street view camera provides clear, sharp and vivid images. In most of Europe, all images were taken with the 4th generation camera, although some cities in France were not. All older images where street view was first made available, such as America, Australia and Japan, will be phased out and replaced with newer imagery taken with the fourth generation street view cameras.
Privacy advocates have objected to this Google feature, pointing to views found to show men leaving strip clubs, protesters at an abortion clinic, sunbathers in bikinis, and people engaging in activities visible from public property in which they do not wish to be seen publicly. Google maintains that the photos were taken from public property. The service also allows users to flag inappropriate or sensitive imagery for Google to review and remove.
In June 2010, it was revealed that Google had collected and stored payload data from unencrypted wi-fi connections as part of Street View. German authorities are considering legal action while the Foreign Minister said "I will do all I can to prevent it.". Australian police have also been ordered to investigate.
Other companies or institutions have already begun taking their own 360 degree pictures of cities. Microsoft's Bing Maps introduced Streetside in December 2009. Mapquest also recently introduced 360° View.
Russia's largest search engine Yandex launched Street Panoramas on September 9, 2009. For the moment Street Panoramas works in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Kazan, Chelyabinsk, Perm and Kiev (Ukraine).
A Romanian company, NORC, is also taking pictures of Romania and other countries in Eastern and Central Europe. NORC has 360 degree pictures for biggest Romanian cities, for the Danube Delta (using a boat for capturing photos), for some cities in Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Russia and in Austria (Vienna).
Two Argentine analogues also exist, one is called Mapplo which is the first street view in Latin America. Fotocalle, another Argentine project, is the first street view in the world that provides HD pictures.
There are two Swedish street view analogues, Gatubild ("Street picture") at Hitta.se with 29 cities which launched in December 2008, and Gatuvy ("Street view") at Eniro with 8 cities and three winter resorts which launched in December 2009.
A company in Greece has also introduced a similar system Kapou.
Polish website zumi.pl offers street view for different cities in Poland.
In 2009, VideoStreetView introduced world's first full motion 360° immersive video mapping .