Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Google's Street, it's personal.

Google Maps just announced the addition of street-level panoramic photos in five cities -- NYC, LA, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Denver. It's called "Street View" and it allows you to virtually stand on the street, look around, and even walk down the street if you like.

The NY Times reports:
Google said that the images had been captured by vehicles equipped with special cameras. The company took some of the photographs itself and purchased others from Immersive Media, a data provider.

The question that always comes to mind with such imagery
is that of privacy. For example, in the below photo, I believe that's my wife's white car parked at the building where this lawyer works that I think she's been having an affair with... (Okay -- Just kidding! But you get the point). Be careful what you ask for.


Giles Prichard said...

Hey Roger, I found your blog via the Google maps blog. I'm a London-based MA student writing my dissertation on contextualising Street View and the web community's reaction to it. I'm trying to answer the questions What is it? What could it be and what are the implications?

If you have time to drop by to my blog and leave any comments you have that would be really helpful.

The privacy and surveillance issues are pretty strong. It's interesting though when so much of our lives are documented by CCTV (especially here in the UK which has an enormous number of CCTV cams - 1 for every 13 people or so), when nearly every person over 13 carries a cameraphone and the presence of huge public data bases such as Flickr why there is a focus on Street View and privacy.

regards, Giles Prichard

Anonymous said...

Privacy my eye. Nobody has a right to privacy in a public place. End of discussion.

Anonymous said...

Has pro's and cons, yes good IF using it for good, but in South Africa crime is bad.

Now the criminals can find, our addresses and then see where we live. That is an invasion of privacy.