Google Gets Another Street View Privacy Fine — In Italy

street-view-car-featured It seems like each European country is taking its turn fining Google for some privacy infraction. This time, it's Italy and involves Street View. Google has reportedly paid a roughly $1.4 million (1 million EUR) fine. According a story in Reuters, the issue this time was the failure to clearly mark Street View cars during Italian street photography in 2010: The fine announced on Thursday relates only to vehicles not being labeled clearly enough. The watchdog has also reported to Italy's judicial authorities that Google accidentally captured fragments of electronic communications as part of [...]

Google Preps “Hotel View” Interior 360 Imagery

Google Street View Pegman Icon Call it Google "Hotel View." According to the Associated Press (via Fox), Google is photographing hotel interiors as part of an effort to enhance its travel content. Perhaps even more interesting, says the article, is that the initiative is being run not under the umbrella of Google Maps but through Google Wallet. It's not clear whether that last statement is accurate, however. Google has been slowly rolling out more and more interior photography for local businesses over the past few years. This may simply be a logical extension of that effort. According to the AP, Google is ma [...]

Google Maps Gets Street Views For 16 International Airports & Other Transit Locations Across The Globe

Google Maps icon In time for the holiday travel season, Google Maps now includes street views for a number of transit locations across the globe. Yesterday, a post on the Google Maps blog claimed the site has added street views for 16 international airports, more than 50 train and subway stations, as well as a Hong Kong cable car station. According to Google: Now you can visit the check-in counter of your airline in Madrid, map out the way from baggage claim to the bus at Tokyo International Airport and check out where to pick up your rental car at Eindhoven Airport; you can even scope out your seat on an [...]

Google Takes Street View Images From The Tallest Building In The World At Dubai’s Burj Khalifa

Google Maps icon Google Maps adds another first today with Street View images from Burj Khalifa, the Dubai skyscraper that sands at 828 meters (2,716 feet) tall, making it the tallest man-made structure in the world. According to Google, not only is this their first-ever collection of images from the Arab World, "This is the first time we've captured a skyscraper on Street View." The images were collected over a three-day stretch using the Google Street View Trekker and Trolley, taking 360-degree panoramic photos inside and outside of the building. Users can see views of Dubai from the 124th floor, visit [...]

Google Maps Adds 1,001 New Street Views From Singapore’s Bay To The Vermont State House

google-maps-featured Google Maps has added more than 1,000 new destinations, with an expansive collection of street views across Asia, Europe, Latin America, the US and Canada. New Singapore street views have been added for Fullerton Heritage Promenade, the Singapore Zoo, and the Marina Bay Waterfront, letting users can see what it's like to walk along Singapore's bay as pictured here. [caption id="attachment_163248" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Singapore's Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade[/caption] Images from Spain's Seville Cathedral, the third largest church in the world, were added, as well as str [...]

Google Maps Expands European Biking Directions, Adding Hundreds Of Kilometers Worth Of Bike Paths

Google Maps icon Originally launched in beta mode for a number of European countries last year, Google Maps has enabled biking directions for Germany, France, Poland, Ireland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein. By working with partner organizations, as well as adding hundreds of kilometers of bike paths via Google Map Maker, Google Maps offers European cyclist a number of biking trails, lanes and recommended roads. A simple search for directions in Google Maps provides users with suitable bike routes along with time estimates that account for the type of road, terrain and course turns. Users can also switch over [...]

Google Street Views Now In 50 Countries With Addition Of Hungary & Lesotho

Google Maps Street View Trike Google Maps announced today that their collection of images now include Street Views from 50 countries with photos recently added from Hungary and Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South Africa. According to the Google Maps blog, their latest update is the largest single update of Street Views imagery since Google Maps launched in 2007, with new images from nearly 350,000 miles of roads across 14 countries. The new Street Views of Hungary allow users to see the historic center of Budapest, with up close views of the Hungarian Parliament building along the Danube and Hungary's Chain Bridge. [...]

German Privacy Regulator Fines Google Over Street View Data Collection, Calls For Tougher Financial Penalties

street-view-car-featured A fine of 145,000 EUR (roughly $189,000) is trivial for Google. But that's close to the maximum fine allowed by German law ($150,000 EUR). The fine is being imposed on Google for violations of German privacy and data protection laws stemming from the so-called "WiSpy" episode in 2008 - 2009 in which Google collected private emails and other personal data via its Street View cars and their efforts to map Wi-Fi locations around the world. Google was fined 100,000 EUR by French authorities for the same violations in 2011. These amounts are insignificant to Google, which just posted quarterl [...]

Google’s April Fools’ Day 2013 Joke-A-Thon: YouTube Shutdown, Google Nose & More

google-jokes-funny-april-fools-featured April Fool's Day is pretty much like a national ... err, international holiday for everyone that works for Google. It seems that nobody else on the Web takes the tradition of pranks and jokes as seriously as Google does -- just see our coverage from the last few April Fool's Days for proof: Google's Gags Go Worldwide For April Fool's Day 2012 It's Over: Google Has Already Won April Fools Day 2011 Google Books, Google Maps Get 3D View – But Only For April Fool's Day April Fools' Day 2009: Google CADIE & More From Search Industry It may still be March 31st for me, and maybe [...]

It’s Official: Google Settles “WiSpy” Case For $7 Million

google-wifi-streetview As reported last week, Google has formally settled the so-called "WiSpy" case with 30 US state Attorneys General for $7 million. The agreement also contains some other non-monetary provisions that are, frankly, more meaningful. The investigation began in 2010 concerning unauthorized collection of private emails and other "payload" data by Google Street View vehicles. The US Federal Communications Commission concluded its own investigation of the affair with no finding of liability against Google. As mentioned, the $7 million settlement is insignificant for Google. However, the press rel [...]

Report: Google To Settle “WiSpy” Investigation With Attorneys General For Measly $7 Million

Google Street View Pegman Icon According to AllThingsD, Google is about to settle the so-called "WiSpy" investigation with 30 US state Attorneys Generals. Google will admit no wrongdoing and pay $7 million according to the report. The article says the settlement will be announced next week. In early 2012, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) concluded its own WiSpy investigation with no finding of liability against Google, but fined the company $25,000 for not cooperating with its investigation -- a claim that Google aggressively disputed. The WiSpy scandal was global in scope. If you've forgotten, it i [...]

Google Wins Street View Reprieve In Germany But Confronts New Pro-Newspaper Copyright Restrictions

Google Germany Google dodged a bullet in Germany this week as prosecutors in Hamburg decided, after a lengthy investigation, not to pursue criminal charges against the company over Street View WiFi data collection. Essentially prosecutors found that Google lacked the requisite "criminal intent" to justify prosecution. Google faces another, arguably more daunting legal challenge in Germany however. It's now confronting a proposed "ancillary" copyright rule that could go into effect early next year and effectively eliminate Google's ability to index German news sites without licensing their content. France [...]

Google Mapping The Interior Of The Grand Canyon With Street View Cameras

Having driven literally hundreds of thousands of miles of surface streets and roads throughout the world, Google is increasingly going off road in its quest to make Street View comprehensive. Most recently the company took its on-foot Street View backpack cameras to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Google is hiking the various trails that descend into the Canyon and onto the floor of the great national park. According to the company's Lat-Long Blog: This week, photos are being gathered from portions of the South Rim at Grand Canyon National Park, including the ridge, the famous Bright Angel Tr [...]

Google Maps Adds 250,000 Miles Of Street Views In Their Largest Update In History

Google Street View Pegman Icon Google announced they have made their biggest ever street view imagery update by adding over 250,000 miles of roads around the world and doubling their "special collections" imagery. Google said they are increasing the street view imagery specifically in Macau, Singapore, Sweden, the U.S., Thailand, Taiwan, Italy, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Canada. They have also added the special collection imagery in South Africa, Japan, Spain, France, Brazil and Mexico. Here is one example of a new imagery shot of Catherine Palace in Google Maps: View Larger Map It feels as if Google h [...]

Google Maps Mobile Gets Street View, Aimed At Helping iOS Users

google-maps-featured As expected, Google Maps Mobile has gained Street View photography. The move should further shore up Google as an alternative to the new Apple Maps on iOS 6, which are so inferior to the Google-powered ones on iOS 5 that Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized for them last week and suggested Google as an alternative, among other options. Google Maps, accessed through the browser, still won't be as nice as making use of an actual Google Maps app. Google lacks an app for iOS 6 users apparently because it hasn't "done anything" yet, as CEO Eric Schmidt said last week. Why hasn't it done anyth [...]

Google’s Street View Goes Under The Sea At Six Coral Reefs

street-view-ocean Under the sea Under the sea Darling it's better down where it's wetter Take it from me - from The Little Mermaid Every so often, the Google Street View service does something cool enough to make you forget about the WiFi data collection screwup, and this is one of those things -- at least for me. With photographic help from The Catlin Seaview Survey, Street View now has underwater imagery from six coral reefs, all of which are available on Google Maps at (Take that, Apple Maps.) The locations include the Great Barrier Reef near Australia (shown in the i [...]

Google Updates New Orleans Street View Imagery

streetview-nola-new The history of Google's Street View is rife with cities and towns that are less than thrilled at the sight of those little cars driving down the street (remember when a Street View driver ran into an angry mob of UK villagers?), but the reaction today is quite different in New Orleans. Seven years after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city, Google has finally replaced the old images of destruction with new images taken over the past year or so. To show the difference, compare this old photo of a New Orleans street taken by Google in August 2007 (top) with one of the new images that's now [...]

New Orleans Residents: Dear Google, It’s Time To Update Our Street View Images

new-orleans-street-featured A pair of New Orleanians are trying to get Google to update the Street View imagery of their city -- some of which is five years old and still shows the ruins from 2005's Hurricane Katrina. "We basically just want to let Google know that there's a real need for updated images this many years after Katrina," says Annalisa Kelly, who, along with Hunter King, recently launched Update Google Street View in New Orleans! It's a blog that juxtaposes current city photos with Google's images to shine a light on the need for new Street View photos. As King and Kelly say on the blog, New Orleans is [...]

Google Street View Shows ‘Secret Base’ In Israel, But Military Says It’s Not Secret At All

streetview-israel Some in Israel are calling foul after images of what's described as a "secret base" in the Tel Aviv area have appeared on Google's Street View service. But the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) -- the country's defense department -- says everything is fine. According to an English-language article from Ynetnews, soldiers and vehicles inside a "secret base" are clearly visible on Street View, which just launched in Israel a couple weeks ago. Journalist and new media consultant Yossi Dorfman revealed in his blog that a secret Tel Aviv-area base has been fully exposed by Google's new service. The [...]

Google Street View Images Now Online In Israel

wailing-wall-street-view Although a formal launch is planned for this weekend, Google's Street View imagery for Israel is already online. It marks the first time Google has put street photographs online from any Middle Eastern country. Shown above is a screenshot of the Wailing Wall (also called the Western Wall) in Jerusalem, one of the city's most sacred sites. Plans to bring Street View to Israel have been the subject of great discussion -- and some controversy -- for more than a year. In early 2011, Israeli government officials met with Google and concluded that allowing Street View images online would be go [...]

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