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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 28 July, 2022

  • 8 Min Read

Google's ‘Street View’

Google's ‘Street View’

Recently, Google announced the launch of its popular ‘Street View’ feature in India – after failing to bring the experience to India at least twice in the past decade following security concerns raised by the government agencies over the collection of data.

What is Google Street View?

  • Google Street View is an immersive 360-degree view of a location captured using special cameras mounted on vehicles or on backpacks by data collectors moving around the city streets.
  • The images are then patched together to create a 360-degree view which users can swipe through to get a detailed view of the location.
  • It is available to view on Android and iOS using the app, or as a web view.

Why was Google Street View not enabled in India?

  • In 2011, the Bangalore City Police stopped vehicles capturing images for Google Street View. Though there was no clarity on why exactly the policy stopped the capture of data after that Google did not proceed with the product in India, even as local companies like Wonobo and MapMyIndia came up with their own versions of immersive visual maps of some Indian cities.

How has Street View now been launched in India?

  • The National Geospatial Policy, 2021 lets Indian companies collect map data and license it to others. After this, Google tied up with Tech Mahindra and Mumbai-based Genesys International to enable Street View for 10 Indian cities initially.
  • This is the first time Google is working with partner data to enable this feature. In India, the data will be collected and owned by these partners.

Coverage:

  • Street View will be available on Google Maps with fresh imagery licensed from local partners covering over 1,50,000 km across ten cities in India, including Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Pune, Nashik, Vadodara, Ahmednagar, and Amritsar.

Significance for local people

While Google Maps gives users the ability to plot a route and see the satellite view of the same, often this does not give a clear idea of the road conditions.

  • With Street View, users will be able to see exactly what a new destination looks like, and even explore local businesses before going there.
  • It will help people navigate and explore new corners of the country and the world in a more visual and accurate way, enabling them to fully experience what it’s like to be in these places, right from their phone or computer.

Limitations on Street View in India

  • Street View in India is not allowed for restricted areas like government properties, defence establishments, and military areas. This means in a place like Delhi, the cantonment area will be out of bounds for Street View.

Issues with Street View

  • Privacy issues have been raised regarding Street View. Various data like people’s faces, car number plates, house numbers, and other identifiable objects will be captured by the camera which can be misused in various ways.
  • Security concerns especially for sensitive locations.
  • Along with India, Google has had issues with the local authorities in countries like Austria, Australia, and Germany, though it has come back in most of these locations. It might increase the conflict between companies and the government.

Also Read - IRRATIONAL FREEBIES CULTURE

Source: The Indian Express


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