- Google relaunched the Street View feature in India on Google Maps after six years; the feature was banned in India for security reasons.
- Google announced that Street View is live in over 100 countries and territories and has gathered over 220 billion Street View images.
Google relaunched the feature on Google Maps, which allows users to explore an area through 360-degree panoramic street-level images in India more than ten years after it first launched the service in the South Asian market and approximately six years after the feature was banned in the country over security reasons.
The company, which first launched Street View in the country in 2011, said it has partnered with local giants Genesys and Tech Mahindra to relaunch the service, which is now live in 10 Indian cities. The company anticipates to deliver the service to 50 Indian cities by the end of the year.
Google executives said for the first time at a press briefing in New Delhi that Google has partnered with third-party firms for Street View. Earlier this year, Google said that feature is live in over 100 countries and territories and has gathered over 220 billion Street View images.
Miriam Karthika Daniel, VP – Maps Experiences at Google, said that starting today, Street View will be available on Google Maps with fresh imagery intensity in India that covers 150,000 kilometers (93,205 miles) of roads that have been ingested into Google Maps.
Why India Banners Street View Feature Earlier?
India rejected plans of Google to collect images for its service in 2016 over security concerns of sensitive defense installations. At that time, local media reports said that the government feared that the technology could aid terrorism.
India has been concerned that its military installations and high-security areas are vulnerable to attack. Like many other nations, it has insisted on controlling how the country’s international boundaries and disputed borders are represented.
Google said that India’s unveiled geospatial policy last year helped the company relaunch Street View in the country.
Karthika Daniel, who joined Google last year from Amazon, said that the geospatial policy allows local entities to collect data at a certain fidelity level. Hence, their partners configure the cameras; they go into the data collection. They own the data they collect, but then they license it to entities such as Google so that it can be integrated and offer services like Google Maps.
She also mentioned that the company is opening up access to the Street View API to local developers. It will enable them to integrate with mapping experiences and all of their products and services.
Google said it has also partnered with traffic authorities and aggregators to help people across eight Indian cities like Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Gurgaon, and Agra to make improved travel decisions and avoid congestion zones with data on road closures and incidents.
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