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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

More Google Street View Cars


Gizmodo has news of what seems to be an armada of cars Google prepares for their Street View service. These camera-equipped cars, which look like they’re straight out of some sci-fi thriller, drive through streets of US cities – and potentially, other cities in the future, though I haven’t heard of definite plans in this area – to take panoramic snapshots of the environment to be added to Google Maps (just click the “Street View” button when the US map is displayed).

Gizmodo’s Charlie White yesterday writes:

It was an entire fleet of at least 30 brand-new Chevy Cobalt cars parked behind the building, most without license plates yet. ... each had a metal device attached to its top, which looks suspiciously like a vertical extension for mounting Google’s Streetview 360° camera.

Our telltale tipster tells us he thinks Google is “preparing their invasion of US cities with an armada of C.C.C.Cs (Chevy Cobalt Camera Cars). I guess Cobalts are cheap but they certainly will be conspicuous. Maybe that’s what they want.

For the previous Street View photos, Google outsourced this job to Immersive Media for all cities but one. Interestingly enough, the one city where Google didn’t outsource this – San Francisco – is available in much better image quality. Perhaps these cars sent out by Google (who earlier this week emphasized their “ongoing plan to continue innovating in the area of privacy”) will also provide the more detailed image resolutions. Which means more fun when looking for streets and strange occurrences on those streets... and less fun for people who figured they’d have some amount of privacy, even when strolling in public.

[Thanks Brinke and MarWi! Photo source: Gizmodo.]


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