Monday, June 14, 2010

Google Streetview is alive and well in Johannesburg... even on cellphones!

Almost everyone has heard about Google Streetview by now - and if you haven't, it is Google's way of peeping into backyards all over the world :)
Basically Google sent out a whole lot of Google vehicles with special 360-degree roof-mounted cameras, to take photos of roads and highways in various areas of the world. 
As far as I know they started off in the USA of course, and then moved onto Europe.

More recently, and in time for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup, Google invaded South Africa with the result that most of Johannesburg is now available to view using Google Maps.
I tried out the Google Maps mobile app, and the results were spectacular. 
No matter which road I chose in JHB, whether a major highway or a tiny back road, Streetview popped up in all it's glory, revealing Johannesburgers going about their daily lives while Google stealthily went about their way, imaging every piece of road in the city that they could access.

Interestingly, all vehicle number plates are blurred out, as is all vehicle branding, as far I could see anyway.

In the spirit of the World Cup, I took these cellphone screenshots of Google spying on Soccer City...

...and these near OR Tambo International Airport (that's the new Gautrain track overhead).

Did you notice the shadow in the last pic? It clearly shows the upright camera atop the Google vehicle.
Can you imagine the amount of work / logistics / effort that went into this? 

Google just continues to amaze... what's next I wonder?


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