For those of you who don’t keep up with the news. Google Street View will begin capturing our major metropolitan areas by car, archiving everything they see to the internet forever.
Personally, I’m happy that they are finally giving us Street View in Canada. Sure their vehicles will time and energy to drive around, wasting gas at stop lights, but I think it will benefit in the long run. It gives people a better visual sense of their destination.
Try finding a little store or restaurant that you’ve never been to before. Simply take a look on Gmaps before embarking and take a peek at what your destination may look like. Hopefully, when you’re close, you wont be holding up traffic behind you as you stroll down the street at 20km/h, trying to read the street numbers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen that.
In terms of having personal property indexed and viewable on the internet. It doesn’t bother me at all however I’m sure there we be a lot people who dislike the idea. Much like the idea of having CCTVs scattered throughout the city. Articles have been posted on CBC/CTV and have already seen a fair amount of resistance from the paranoid.
Tip to the public: just live your daily lives and pray that the google street cars trucks don’t capture you doing something stupid on the street! (like tanning naked)
For the paranoid
Now Google does have license and facial blurring technologies in place to protect people on the streets and car owners, but for those who are concerned about their properties appearing on the internet. There is not much you can do, other than filing for an online removal request, contact your local MP/MLA and protesting like we Canadians love doing…..or try and sue.
For the political-legal-types
According to CBC, the Privacy Commissioner has been contact by Google and they will work as a team to make sure that no laws are violated. On a side note, I did some research and found out that British Columbia does NOT follow Canada’s Privacy Commissioner’s laws and has its own minister to regulate this. This is why there is a version of streetview that exists in BC. See below
For the keener (the person who can’t wait to virtually drive!)
If you live in Vancouver, Whistler or Squamish, you’re in luck. You can get a sample of what Google Street View’s cameras may capture in the next few months. Simply visit canpages.ca and type in a name of a business in one of those cities. The coverage in Vancouver seems to be all of Downtown Vancouver, a portion of the Mt. Pleasant section, and a variety of major streets recorded. Most of Whistler and a portion of Downtown Squamish are also included in their website.
If you don’t live in Vancouver/Whistler/Squamish and have always wondered what its like there, or, live in Ontario, or don’t have the money to travel accross the country, here’s your chance to get a virtual view of the west coast! (yes, this was directed to those who keep dreaming about coming here and never do)