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.