Posted on 2-Dec-2008 07:08.
Filed under: News
Google has announced the launch of Street View on Google Maps in New Zealand. Street View is a new feature for Google Maps that lets internet users view and navigate 360 degree street-level imagery of New Zealand's cities, towns, regions and remote areas.
Dragging the yellow Street View pegman onto any point on a public road shown in Google Maps will bring up an image of the surroundings from a street-level vantage point, letting people check out a restaurant before arriving, arrange meeting points, save time at open houses on Saturday mornings, or just explore parts of New Zealand they haven't visited before.
More than 100 metropolitan areas in six other countries around the world are presently visible in street view, which first launched in the United States in May 2007.
Andrew Foster, Product Manager for Google Australia and New Zealand, says, “New Zealand has some of the most scenic and remote roads in the world, and now anyone from around the country or the world will be able to appreciate them online.
“As well as viewing images of major metropolitan areas like Auckland and Christchurch, people will be able to take a virtual drive along Scenic Drive to Piha Beach west of Auckland, or along the spectacular Crown Range road between Wanaka and Queenstown.
Tourism New Zealand has selected a gallery of Street View images that showcase some of New Zealand's best tourist attractions and locations to the world. Many other organisations have already identified significant opportunities for Street View to be used in travel, tourism, house buying and renting, education, and helping make small businesses easier to find.
Mr Foster says that New Zealanders are increasingly using Google Maps to help them plan trips and find businesses in their neighbourhoods, and share information with friends and family.
“As well as using it to get directions, we're seeing New Zealanders use Google Maps in a range of interesting ways, from companies integrating it with their websites, to enthusiasts using it to create personalised maps related to their areas of interest. We expect the Street View imagery to encourage even more New Zealanders to explore their surroundings and plan their activities online.”
Google has gone to great lengths to safeguard privacy while allowing all New Zealanders to benefit from this feature. Street View only contains imagery that is already visible from public roads, and blurs identifiable faces.
Anyone can easily flag for removal images that they consider inappropriate by clicking on “Report a concern” at the bottom of the Street View image in question.
The Street View imagery was collected by camera-equipped cars that drove public roads in New Zealand over the past 12 months.