Google Street View Reaches France
Rumors regarding a potential French variant of Google's street view technology spread on the web since last year, when Google Maps cars were spotted all around the country. Similar vehicles have also been photographed in Italy, so new coverage should be announced in the near future.
Ever since people started talking about the French Street View, the local government admitted that such a web service would be possible but only if the search giant is capable of blurring people's faces and cars' registration numbers, in order to comply with the French legislation. Soon after that, Google unveiled updated Manhattan imagery which included blurred pictures, a clear sign that the company intended to expand Street View in Europe.
Google Maps Street View was officially launched on May 25, 2007 and since then, the Mountain View-based firm expanded it in both North America and Europe. New imagery updates are expected in a couple of new countries, including Australia, Japan and Italy.
However, Google had some problems due to the amount of details appearing in those high-resolution photos: people filed lawsuits against the search company, accusing it of privacy violation and pointing to detailed pictures which revealed private things from their houses. In an interview published last year, Google's representatives defended Street View, explaining that the web-based service shows nothing more than the images accessible from the streets.
For those of you who don't know, the Street View imagery is captured by special Google cars equipped with a large number of high-end cameras shooting lots of photos per second.