Google starts Street View mapping in UK. And here's the evidence

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Think Before You Voicemail

Somewhere in Google’s picture archive of UK streets there is now a picture of a man holding up a camera, photographing the moment when Google’s unmarked Street View car captured his London street in a full 360 degrees. How do I know? Because he sent me the above.

But even as Google starts its photo-mapping of the UK’s streets, the BBC is reporting that Google’s activities “could” be referred to the Information Commissioner. Privacy International, a UK rights group, which believes the technology breaks data protection laws, is stirring up a lot of press on the matter, as they are concerned that Google needs a person’s consent if they end up on StreetView. Google says it is trialling a face blurring technology.

Privacy International has written to Google’s lawyers and asked for technical information about this, but wants an answer inside seven days or they’ll pull the trigger on writing to the UK’s Information Commissioner seeking a suspension of the service in the UK.

But it looks to me like the Street View car has already left the garage…

  • Nik Smit

    Spotted a very similar car near Knightsbridge on Wednesday, but it *did* have a Google StreetView sticker on its left front door.

    • Imogen Davey

      I saw one in plymouth with the sticker…how long do the pictures take?

  • Julian

    They are in Germany, too!
    Just read it in the newspaper.

  • Douglas

    Someone I know claimed to have seen it in the centre of Glasgow two or three weeks ago.

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  • Simon Nickau

    I spotted one a couple of weeks ago here in Oxford. It was also unmarked, as far as I could tell from the bus window as the car went by.

  • Chuck Smith

    About a week ago, I saw a Google Streetview car heading down a street in city center Berlin. It had a big Google Maps sticker on the side. We actually saw it go down the street twice. Perhaps it does that so it’s more likely to get pictures without people in them…

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  • Arturo Servin

    I saw one twice in Leeds but I had not my camera ready. The car have a big sticker in the doors “Google”.

    The first time it was around Leeds Metropolitan University and the second time (a day later) around Hyde Park.

  • John Boy

    I saw one in Elephant & Castle going down and up the Old Kent Road last week. It had the Google stickers on the door.

  • MarkC

    Personally cannot see the problem with it. If you are on the street in public then you are happy to be part of whatever is happening in public, including pictures. I know people will say that it is a commercial enterprise but it is also a public service one in terms of providing a service to the public. Great idea and can’t wait for it to be live in the UK.

    • Domdom

      i agree! i got photographed in two different places on two different days! what are the chances eh? but i dont mind. im just excited to see myself on google maps probably pulling a silly face (:

  • Andy Warren

    Perhaps they could save on face blurring technology and just drive faster.

  • Bob Hughes

    Saw one in Madrid the other day.

  • Scott Jones

    LOFL @ Andy!

  • Darren Ferguson

    @MarkC – ‘If you are on the street in public then you are happy to be part of whatever is happening in public, including pictures’ – that is a rather big assumption.

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  • Robleh

    If you are on the street in public then you are happy to be part of whatever Google has decided comes under the heading of ‘organising the world’s information’. I for one welcome our new Google overlords.

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  • Jon Hurlock

    Just seen these guys driving on the mumbles road in Swansea. It had a white sticker on the side, but couldn’t read it as I was driving the otherway.

  • Geoff Wright

    @all moaning about privacy, or pondering on whether to moan.

    I have to say, who gives a damn if Google are taking photos of the streets and you might be the lucky soul with a finger and thumb in one?

    Do you ask people at theme parks to photoshop you out of their family album? Or how about one of the thousands of webcams setup in and around your country allowing people to watch?

    You aren’t doing anything you shouldn’t be are ya? : )

    • Magicman

      I totally agree…its just apicrure get used to it you boring people id love to be in one :P

  • Ciaran

    Pretty sure that this is what I saw way back in January.. (assuming links are nofollowed, so hope you don’t think I’m spamming)

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  • Rose

    I suggest to try as well StreetView on the website of Fizber to explore city neighborhoods. It feels as if you’re walking down the street:)!

  • LOST... Harry the Hamster

    Street view mapping is the only way to find him


    He’s out there somewhere waiting to be found.

    The search begins…………………..

  • Paul

    I got photographed on my way to work walking in Swansea city centre this morning by a Google Street view car!

    • magi


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