Tech giant Google finally has its way, and it has launched the much-contemplated Google Street View in India. While it had launched the service about a decade back in the south Asian market, it had to roll back its plan due to the Indian government’s concerns about security.
Street View, which is a feature of the many new additions to Google Maps, allows users to explore an area through 360-degree panoramic street-level images. Incidentally, the concept was first launched way back in 2011 here.
As per Indian laws, the tech company cannot gather data that could be sensitive. So, Google entered into an understanding with local giants Genesys and Tech Mahindra to collect data required for its Street View in a third-party agreement.
Street View was launched by Google 15 years ago and is live in over 100 countries and territories, and it has a collection of 220 billion Street View images. Google, on its part, maintains that the launch will help change everyday lives.
The Indian government has raised concerns over coverage of military installations and high-security areas that are vulnerable and felt that such detailing would help terrorist acts. Also, there was an issue with regard to depicting the international borders of India.
Incidentally, it is the Indian government’s new geospatial policy that helped Google launch Street View in India. The new feature will also show speed limit data for starters in Bengaluru and Chandigarh, which will help with issues of traffic congestion.
Google has announced that it has partnered with traffic authorities and aggregators to help people in eight cities – Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Kolkatta, Gurgaon, and Agra. It will also provide info on road closures and incidents.
Soon, 50 cities will be covered by Google. It’s a coincidence that Apple has launched MapmyIndia, which powers Apple Inc’s maps in India.