Google’s street view hits Glenwood Springs
January 2, 2009
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” As of Dec. 9, Internet surfers can take a virtual tour of downtown Glenwood Springs with Google’s Street View service.
Launched in 5 major cities in 2007, street view allows Internet users to pan and navigate through 360-degree photos taken from streets. People can even zoom in on a particular building or sight.
Among street view’s featured views are things like Times Square, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Eiffel Tower. The photos are taken with 360-degree digital cameras mounted on vehicles driving the streets.
Denver was among the 5 cities street view was initially launched in, but Glenwood Springs was added to the list as part of a major expansion Dec. 9. Street view is available in much of the U.S., Japan, parts of Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
It appears that street view is not yet available in Carbondale or Aspen or other nearby cities, although people can view towns like New Castle and Silt from a distance in images taken from Interstate 70. Internet users can also cruise through Glenwood Canyon to the east.
Google announced a major U.S. expansion on one of its blogs Dec. 9 that appeared to include Glenwood Springs. A Google spokesperson couldn’t be immediately reached.
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Although the photos are taken from public roads, Google’s street view has drawn some criticism for what some say is invasion of privacy. A Japanese privacy group has asked Google to stop making the images available. Street view came into controversy there soon after it arrived when some images showed faces of men and women entering short-stay “love hotels” in Tokyo. Street view has also reportedly captured images of other strange things like someone peeing in a street and a man climbing the side of a building, possibly to break in.
Privacy concerns have also been raised elsewhere. Street view was targeted in a lawsuit in the U.S. in 2008.
Google says street view only features photographs taken on public property and the imagery is no different from what someone could see or photograph walking down the street. The company says it’s sensitive to privacy concerns and anyone can click a link while using street view to report a concern to let Google know about things like a recognizable face or license plate that should be blurred.
Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121