Was watching World News on SBS when I saw a report about Google Street View. I’d never heard of it, but the reporter was saying that your house’s street view could be visible in a Google Maps search if you selected street view. Just had to check that out! Typed in my address, clicked on street view and next thing you know I’m looking at my front fence and driveway -the image you see above! Freaked me out a bit I have to admit. It seems a little intrusive somehow.
Andrew Ramadge, from News.com.au wrote an article about Street View explaining what it is and how the images are collected;
Google Street View is an online tool that lets users take a virtual tour of landscapes from their computer by perusing an interactive database of millions of 360-degree snapshots.
The snapshots are taken by a fleet of cars fitted with special cameras that drive across the country, capturing images on every street corner and along every highway.
He goes on to address security concerns that have been expressed and how Google hopes to overcome them;
In response to security concerns raised in the US, Google said last year its Street View service would not identify faces or license plates in Australia.
The company has recently introduced an automatic face-blurring technology designed to obscure the identities of people caught in the lens of Street View. Mr Shilkin said that the low resolution of images would prevent vehicle number plates from being identifiable.
Users can also report any Street View images they believe to be inappropriate through a link on the website. Mr Foster said it would take anywhere between a few minutes to “a day or so” to remove to offending images once they were reported.
Google have created a video explaining Street View for Australian audiences. I have to admit that after viewing this I warmed to the Street View concept. Good marketing Google! I like the fact that I and my students are now going to be able to visit places of interest and ‘walk’ our way around them. Imagine a class where you’re explaining the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge or Opera House- you can take your students there to navigate your way around its surrounds. If you have to find your way from one place to another you type in your start address and your finish address and the program will step out for you the course you need to take. Geography classes just got a whole lot more interesting I think! Watch the video and make your own mind up about Street View.