Google Camera Car

A number of people have asked me how Google gets their Street View images for their mapping service. I asked a Google representative at a library conference how the images were obtained, and was informed that a camera was basically strapped to the top of a car which is driven up and down local streets. Thanks to the NY Times, here is a great image of the setup.

One of the topics that is inevitably brought up is how does Google get permission to post images of people and personal property online. My answer is always “they don’t get permission.” Current law does not prevent Google or anyone else from taking these images or displaying them publicly. In fact, Microsoft has a similar project underway. However, Google has recently been threatened by the Germany legislation which has much stricter regulations on privacy.

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About repplinger

John has served as a Reference Librarian at Willamette University since 2002. He is the liaison to the Science Departments, and is responsible for maintaining the collections related to the life & physical sciences. His research interests range over the entire spectrum of libraries and information sciences, but includes: - Google and its influence on information & society - The Internet's influence on information seeking & sharing behaviors - Trends of scholarly communication - Electronic learning environments - Traditional pedagogy - GIS use in academic libraries

Posted on May 26, 2009, in Google, Maps, Privacy, Technology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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