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New Street View Coverage, Features, & Blurred Faces For All Imagery  (View post)

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

Tuesday, June 10, 2008
11 years ago5,437 views

google-latlong.blogspot.com/20 ...

Some highlights from the official post:

"To celebrate Street View's one year birthday, I am very happy to announce we are bringing Street View to 37 (you heard me – 37!) new areas and we have expanded coverage in 15 of our existing areas. All in all, this effectively doubles our coverage."

"Along with showing you some great metropolitan areas, I'm especially excited that we're also bringing you 10 new parks and recreational areas"

"We've also been spending the past year working very hard to improve Street View image quality. In this push, we removed some of our oldest images, so say goodbye to odd coloring and funky geometric artifacts. The new images have better color and more consistent lighting."

"Now you can look up in all our images. But what goes up must come down, so with this release you can also look down as well. The roof of our car and the 'black hole' really aren't all that interesting – now when you pan down the car is magically gone and you can see straight to the ground in most of our images!"

"And finally, in the spirit of getting better with age, the face blurring technology we began testing in Manhattan has been deployed for all of our imagery."

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

It's pretty cool how they made the car disappear too :)

Above 2 comments were made in the forum before this was blogged,

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

W00t! It now goes straight past my Uncle's house! (Hayward, CA). I hope Europe gets some SV pics soon!

Face blurring... Good? Bad? I'm undecided, it would be cool to go round saying "Oh I know him/her" but on the other hand there's the privacy factor to consider. :-/

Matt [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Still no Washington, DC??

Street view cars were spotted in DC many months ago... I wonder what the deal is?

Haochi [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

OMG OMG, Columbus finally! { faints }

Keir [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

The fact that Google have changed the imagery in many of the cities previously covered is bad news for sites compiling street view galleries.

My own gallery is down from about 200 views to 35 :(.

Google have also replaced the higher resolution imagery in San Francisco with lower resolution imagery and cheekily announced it as an improvement in image quality.

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

So Haochi, have you seen you smiley face? :)

Has someone the JavaScript file which list all the cities of street view ?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Keir, I think you need to use copies of imagery if you want to compile long-living galleries...

As for San Francisco, can anyone else confirm the lowered resolution? My Google Maps is always broken...

Mapper99 [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Yep, same story in SF...broke a whole wack of sightings on my gallery as well. Kind of funny actually...My thumbnails show the original image, then, when you click on the Google link, you see the same area, different picture!

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here]myself for my own question:
the file is here
maps.google.com/maps/tldata?la ...

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Before:


zorgloob.com/images/Maps290507 ...



Now:


i25.tinypic.com/dgnj12.png



They have updated images of Mountain View too... :-/

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

(Added an update to the post...)

Eugene Villar [PersonRank 5]

11 years ago #

Does anybody know exactly how they are able to remove the Google car from the images? I'm guessing that they use the imagery from the adjacent views which causes the often visible misalignment. If you look at the SFO City Hall example in Google's post, you can still see the shadow of the Google car. :-)

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> Does anybody know exactly how they are able to remove the Google car from the images?

The official post explains this – It's magic! :)

No, you're probably right...they probably use imagery from the adjacent views.

Alex [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

What happened ?!! With this June-10th update all hi-res pictures of Chicago are gone and on top of this many street views are missing!!! All I could see were pretty bad quality blurry low-res images. Is that called a HUGE update ??? What was the point? There is almost no sense of using it any more. Who cares about the sky views if you can't see the streets clearly. THIS IS REALLY BAD JOB!!! I have literary no words for this.

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here]Alex:

Maybe Google was under pressure from legal and privacy groups and decided to update all the imagery to blur the faces...maybe that imagery wasn't as complete and as hi-res in some locations?

I'm sure there will be other updates to further expand the coverage and improve the quality...

Alex [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here]mbegin

Well, I can understand these issues. But why don't they simply tell us honestly "OK guys, we screwed up big time with all these legal & privacy stuff, therefore you ain't gonna see hi-res pictures anymore" rather then telling sweet stories about great improvements of images quality and that goofy invisible car? Hell with image quality, BUT in return we can now stare at pavement underneath until drop! What a great compensation ;-)
I've checked all major cities and ALL hi-res pictures are gone, so this is not about something has not been completed at some locations. And this is btw a big issue for many people who make use of on this imagery (real estate agents etc). They could've told us what's really coming beforehand rather then cutting everybody off all of a sudden. And this is what I don't like most of all – lack of honesty. Don't you think that this whole "huge update" story just stinks?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

(I added another update.)

scjm [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

My city of Sacramento, California was added. Strangely enough, nearly all of downtown and midtown was overlooked. Most other side streets and alleys are photographed, but not the main portion of the city.


scjm.net/up/sacramentomap.jpg

Bob [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

My city was just added on their. The images on my street were taken in December – Christmas decorations still up. I remember seeing the camera car driving down a nearby road a while ago, but I'm not sure exactly when. Kinda strange to see your own house on there.

I think the image quality was lowered (at least it is with the zoom levels) because of the new face and plate recognition blurring technology. Maybe this way, they only have to blur objects at one resolution level, instead of multiple ones. Now, each zoom level appears to be just a digital (larger pixel) zoom, not an optical one, so the blurred portions remain blurred at any zoom. I'm guessing that as the recognition tech advances and performance increases, the zoom quality will return with blurring intact.

Alex [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Too bad... I was having fun exploring high-res San Francisco, but now it's gone.

Stephen Tordoff [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

MapJack.com still has SanFran in high-res – mapjack.com/?Yi7mWRX5bFPB

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