Updated: May 13
Google Street View is the perfect tool to laze around while taking a look at the beautiful destinations on their digital screens. Google aims to painstakingly map the entire length and breadth of the globe on their Google Maps using their Street View Technology.
They are using Cars with cameras mounted on them and taking 360 panoramas to cover the places. Google also has trolleys with cameras mounted on them to capture images of the buildings and museums from inside.
But still some of the most amazing and fun places in the world are not accessible by car or trolleys. And to put them on Google Maps, they use entirely novel methods. Here are some cool ways which Google maps some off-beat places around the globe.
They explained that the aerial and satellite maps we see on these services are generally completely redone every year, with the more populated areas getting more frequent flyovers and subsequent refreshes. In comparison, the level of detail and proportionate work that goes into the tech behind Street View is very resource-intensive.
According to Immersive Media, they're typically on the road capturing imagery and data 46 hours a day using multiple vehicles with the mounted cameras.
“Google [would like] to map as much as we can on our own, but the world is still a big place,” the Google spokesperson explained. “Contributions from people can help keep Street View imagery updated.” So while Google’s ubiquitousness might make it seem like it could easily cover the whole globe, that’s far from the truth! The spokesperson confirmed that the cars are only used in 87 countries.
So sometimes, if there’s a tiny country that doesn’t have Google Street View cars, or a very geographically remote location where cars wouldn’t be conducive, Google can use images from its volunteers.
In addition to using photos from its local contributors, Google also has a couple of other types of vehicles better equipped to handle rough terrain than cars. There are trolleys, snowmobiles, and three-wheelers, as well as a Street View Trekker. This portable contraption allows people to bring the camera with them to snag images that cars never could.
Physical barriers are one thing, but are there any places where Google is forbidden to take pictures? Well, the spokesperson makes it clear that “Street View only features imagery taken in public locations.” This means that, while residential streets are fair game, Google must get special permission to take photos of places like gated communities.
There also might be government restrictions in place, not specifically to oppose Google, but just in general, that make it tougher to obtain the pictures. Germany has pretty strict privacy laws that can prevent Google from publishing pictures of their streets.
While Street View is really neat, what I'd like to see more than anything is using these photos to enhance driving directions, as it's often easier to spot an exit or street to turn on based on what it looks like rather than rely on tiny little green signs. Considering that the data has come from video footage, a quick highlight reel of turns wouldn't be so bad either.
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