Google to offer street view of Indian cities soon

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Bangalore, May 26 : Global Internet search engine Google Thursday announced plans to offer street view of Indian cities on its maps platform.

"We are launching the street view project from Bangalore as it is the IT capital of India where IT-savvy users will be able to leverage the benefits of the facility optimally," Google India product head Vinay Goel told reporters here at a preview of its latest product.

As a user-friendly feature of Google Maps, the US-based global IT major has already uploaded street view of about 100 cities in 27 countries world over with a host of information for the benefit of users seeking specific details.

"Inspired by the success of the project in other cities, we will collect images of Bangalore streets by driving across the city in cars and trikes (three-wheeler rickshaws) that will have high resolution cameras mounted atop," Goel said.

To be made available on in the coming months, the novel feature will enable users to virtually explore and navigate a neighbourhood through a panoramic view of its streets on their desktops or mobile handsets.

"The users will also be able to access street-level imagery by zooming into the lowest level on Google Maps or by dragging the orange 'pegman' icon on the left side of the map onto a blue highlighted street," Goel pointed out.

Images of faces, addresses of houses or offices and number plates of cars will be blurred to safeguard privacy. Detailed imagery of public or private properties and specific locations will also be blurred on request by the concerned or the affected party.

"Street view will also be useful for urban development planners, law enforcement agencies, house-hunters, travellers and diverse users looking for specific information on shops, offices, restaurants, hotels, etc, in a particular street, area or locality," Goel said.

The feature will enable businesses to upload their details on the imagery map for free by using the tools on the street view site.

"Street view is designed to comply with all local laws, including those related to security and privacy issues in India," Goel added.

Google India's development centre in this tech hub has been actively involved in the global street view project for developing application interface, associated tools and solutions for trouble-shooting.

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