Finally! Google Street View hits the roads of Singapore
A cute but informative clip on how Google Street View works and how your privacy and security is protected. YouTube video from Google.
Just barely two months after the Google Trike was spotted snapping images of Singapore and two weeks ago when Google Maps rolled out the world's first version which incorporates public transport and traffic information, the big event finally arrived -- the launch of Google Street View for Singapore.
In a nutshell, Google's decked out Street View cars and the Google Trike have been going around Singapore, capturing high-resolution images of all public roads and street that allows users to view and navigate 360 degree street-level imagery of Singapore. Singapore is the first country in Southeast Asia to get Street View and the fourth country in Asia Pacific after Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Hardcore Google Map users would of course be familiar with the street view functions, so it's great that this is finally in Singapore.
Working with the Singapore Tourism Board for suggestions and cultural/historical districts, Google Street View Singapore includes iconic locations like Orchard Road, Marina Bay and Clarke Quay; cultural areas like Chinatown, Little India and Kampong Glam; and heartland neighborhoods like Tampines, Jurong and Woodlands. The high-resolution images also means anyone can zoom in to details -- e.g. if you're checking out parking along Bishan Street 22, it's possible to zoom in all the way to view the parking signs to see how much it costs at what time. The images are detailed enough to make out a lot of information, like shop signs and road names.
In addition to viewing the images on your PC, Street View can be accessed on any mobile phone browser, for a virtual photo-based street guide of Singapore. For Android-based smart phones, the functionality is even better -- built-in gyroscopes allows the user to turn and angle for different views on the fly. Check it out at maps.google.com.sg.
"Imagine all the great uses of Street View here, from promoting tourist hotspots to hunting for property to educating students about historic buildings, and of course, getting directions and searching for businesses. Street View will allow locals and visitors to visit places in Singapore they may not have had a chance to experience before," said Andrew McGlinchey, Google's Head of Product Management at the Google launch.
For businesses, it's also another function to introduce into their work. For example, local real estate websites iProperty.com and PropertyGuru.com have integrated Google Street Views, allowing their real estate agents to pinpoint details of each property being listed and give potential buyers the ability to know and see each place before they arrange an actual viewing. It can also be used for sporting events such as OCBC Cycle Singapore, which will provide participants the ability to virtually map out the routes, suss out vantage points and note down problem areas.
Afraid your face might be captured or your car license photographed? Google has built in measures to safeguard privacy -- Street View only contains imagery that is already visible from public roads and features technology that blurs both faces and license plates. In addition, any user can flag images for removal that he or she considers inappropriate by clicking on the "Report a problem" link within each image.