Google Street View launches in the UK & Netherlands

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Late last night Google Street View UK & Netherlands went live. Sneaky old Google for keeping that one quiet. Fortunately, there were a few sharp eyed peeps out there who spotted ground level street views of cities in the UK including:

Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Coventry, Derby, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Scunthorpe, Sheffield, Southampton, York, Belfast, Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, Cardiff and Swansea.

On the one hand this is very exciting and on the other slightly freaky given a) they don’t seem to have blurred out people’s identity and b) that you can see right through the front window of all the terraced houses.

I can sit all semi-smug living in a gated development where the car couldn’t go but then I do miss out on the joy of the “oh look, there’s my house moment.” On the other hand what with criminals using Google Maps the other day to see which roofs they could nick lead off, it does make one nervous about exactly what kind of crime might be perpetrated with so much more information in plain view.

Google took tens of millions of photos of over 22 millions miles of road to make the service possible and, judging by when certain buildings under development, most of them seem to have been taken last summer.

To use the service, head on over to Google Maps, drag the little orange man at the top of the zoom bar onto a spot on the map and watch the world as you know it change forever.

Sky’s Twitter correspondent, Ruth Barnett, is at the event tweeting all sorts of interesting bits and pieces about the Tate adding famous paintings to the service for people to look at and the fact you can get it on your iPhone, BlackBerry and on Android too

(via Google Blogoscoped)

Daniel Sung