Cue the privacy complaints from penguin lovers everywhere. These happy little creatures, sitting on a perch in the middle of Antarctica, have been captured by human cameras without their knowledge and permission and can now be seen on Google Street View. Quelle horreur!
Bad news for penguins is great news for the rest of us, because Google has just announced that Street View is now available on all seven continents. Street View imagery has been added in Brazil, Ireland, and Antarctica. (I plead ignorance: Shouldn’t it be called Glacier View?) Since road names and street addresses are hard to come by in Antarctica, Google has created a Street View image gallery to help get people started in Antarctica and other notable locations around the world.
The “cool” factor aside, this “explore the world’s wonders” approach is also more good marketing and public positioning for Google, especially in the face of the ongoing privacy and legal issues that are plaguing Street View, especially in Europe. Google has been actively singing the benefits of Street View for some time now, including doing a charm offensive in the UK as far back as last summer.
Postscript: Google has updated its blog post to clarify that the Street View images in Antarctica are limited to an area called Half Moon Island. There are also many user-contributed photos across the rest of the continent, which appear on the map as blue dots; those are not Street View images.