Google’s Live UK Pics

Google has launched the UK version of its Street View service, using which users are able to browse a selection of pictures taken along city streets. Street scenes in 25 UK cities from Aberdeen to Southampton can now be viewed using the service. Other national versions of the service were also launched on Thursday, with the total number of countries covered now standing at nine.

The BBC reports that the available imagery comprises video taken along 22,369 miles of UK streets by customized camera cars. Google Maps users can zoom in to a given location and then drag the “Pegman” icon above the zoom bar on to a given street. A picture view of that street appears, which users can control to get a 360-degree view of the area or to progress on street level, throughout the city.

It may sound interesting and innovative but concerns were already expressed about the service, including those over privacy. Also, in the case of Britain specifically, it has been suggested that the service might be bad for the UK tourist industry, something Britain can ill afford right now. It is argued that viewers from around the world will be able to see how dull and unattractive British cities and towns really are, how pig-ugly Britain is and will realize that there isn’t much one would want to see in Britain. Consequently they may not want to visit the UK, thus depriving Britain of much needed hard currency at the worst possible time for its economy.

Not a good idea.

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