Google Street View is a feature of Google Maps that enables users to explore places around the world through 360-degree street level imagery. When the feature first launched it was only available in San Francisco, Denver, Las Vegas, Miami and New York City. Google announced on Tuesday it reached 50 countries when it expanded into Hungary and Lesotho. Here are 5 fast facts you need to know about Google Street View
1. Google Launched Street View in 2007 in Five Cities in the U.S.
Google Maps launched a new way to explore geography at street level in May 2007. When the feature first launched it was only available in San Francisco, Denver, Las Vegas, Miami and New York City.
2. Google Was Fined $7 Million for ‘Street View’ Privacy Breach
Google was fined $7 million by US authorities for collecting people’s personal data without authorization for its Street View feature. Google agreed to destroy emails, passwords, and web histories it harvested in over 38 states from its wireless networks as Street View cars photographed neighborhoods in 2008 and 2010. “We work hard to get privacy right at Google,” the California-based Internet giant said in an email response to an AFP inquiry. But in this case we didn’t, which is why we quickly tightened up our systems to address the issue,” the statement continued. “The project leaders never wanted this data, and didn’t use it or even look at it.”
3. Google Maps for Mobile in 3D
At a press event in June 2012, Google announced it would feature better 3D maps on Google Earth. Google also announced Google Maps for Mobile would feature offline caching. Users will be able to download parts of a map to their devices and use them when they are offline. Google’s engineering director for Street View, Luc Vincent also announced the company put the hardware Google used to capture its Street View data into a backpack called the Street View Trekker.
4. Street View Can Catch You Cheating!
A Russian woman dumped her boyfriend after she found him walking with his arms around his ex-girlfriend, thanks to Yandex Maps- which is a map site similar to Google Maps and is powered by a Russian search engine. The panoramic imagery on Yandex Maps doesn’t blur away the faces of people in pictures of its Street View mode. Maria Voinova, 24 was trying to find an address and switched to street view to get a better look at the building she was looking for when she found her boyfriend, Alexander, walking with his arms around another girl. When Voinova confronted her boyfriend, he admitted to cheating on her . Voinova decided to end the relationship.
5. Today’s Update is the “Largest Single Update of Street View imagery” says Google
Google announced on Tuesday it reached 50 countries when it expanded into Hungary and Lesotho. Google also expanded coverage in France, Italy, Romania, Russia, Singapore and Thailand updating imagery for 350,000 miles of roads across 14 countries. The last major updates of the features was back in October when Google had added more than 400,000 kilometers of streets, roads and new areas in the U.S. Great Britain, Italy, and Sweden.