It's time to lock up your daughters, and here's why: The roving spycar of Google's Street View has been spotted prowling the mean streets of London... Google's Street View spycar spotted in London Good work there by the undercover missus of El Reg reader Ziad al-Hasso. Doubtless she'll soon be exposed on Street View, as will …
I think I saw this car today in Edinburgh, I was having a cheeky cigarette at the time at work. I hope the missus doesn't see it.
Not just London
I've seen it over the last week or 2 roaming the streets of Edinburgh.
Is this news?
'Cos my other half spotted one in Birmingham earlier this week :)
God help us if it gets out to Essex during the summer - there'll be "ladies" flashing their googlies in every frame!
Don't panic, the school kids will be out soon, and before you know it they will be pelting it with rotten eggs and rocks. Balance should be restored soon.
Also seen in Frankfurt / Germany....
... probably caught me looking in disbelief at the strange car passing me in the street while I was out fetching coffee for the boys.
Looks like an Opel, are these spy cars imported from the continent?
I saw an identical car driving around Brockley (London SE4) a couple of weeks ago, so they've been here a while.
I'm surprised it's taken this long for a photo to pop up. (I was driving, so I couldn't take a snapshot.)
Seen in the Principality too
The Google Street View spycar was in Cardiff yesterday, I waved so hopefully will be immortalised acting like a loon on a street corner.
Also in Leeds
About two weeks ago this vehicle snooped past my office building... i was gawping at the google bus like a tool... can't wait to see my stupid look in google street view!
There's 2 pertinent angles to this, firstly privacy: they are welcome to retain a copy of my image, should they take it, provided they pay the annual fee as outlined in my terms & conditions. They should also contact me for permission beforehand, so I can be sure to be wearing my Sunday best.
Secondly, I can't help wondering how this vehicle fits in with the recent police, er, crackdowns on people taking photos in public places. Indeed, what if it is driven by a swarthy, bearded, backpack wearing gentleman, or his Brazilian lookalike?
Not just London - everywhere
There must be a flood of them.
I was caught by one, quite inadvertently, three times last week in my home town.
Quite discrete, just a plain black hatchback with a single "google" decal on the side doors.
Huge pylon sporting multiview cams sprouting from the roof is a bit of a giveaway though.
Thought it was a new Police/DVLA number plate recognition machine at first till it pulled up for a red light. (OK, so it was in the red light district, what d'ya expect?)
Funnily enough, I was actually talking to my gay lover on a mobe while my other half believes I was at a wireless networking conference in Basingstoke
Wait until Paris!
Maybe in one will get burned when it photographs the suburbs.
One law for Google?
So they are going past schools taking pictures? Past police stations taking pictures? I hope police keep stopping them for being suspected paedo-terrorists or is it ok for Google to go around the streets taking pictures of everywhere when we can't.
Didn't get a snap of it, though.
2-3 weeks ago my boss drove past the Google car on the A19.
how long .....
before the driver (or crew or whatever is inside) get arrested for taking pictures of buses? (or heaven forbid, children walking in the street)
Google can take pics where ever the hell they want...
... and post them all over the internet without so much as a by-your-leave-guvnor!
Why don't the plods stop them? Can't have something to do with them being a Mega corp?
Perhaps I should wear a Google hat and t-shirt next time I'm out taking pictures in a public location.
Construction and Use?
Surely an ordinary car with a contraption that size on the roof can't be legal in the UK?
Someone tell the police ....
That any terror-bent psychos can simply look up all UK infrastructure on Google - Maybe if they realised that one of the biggest internet companies on the planet has already done a bigger job than any small 'cell' could do then they would lay of us photographers/videographers.
I will personally give £500* to the first El Reg reader who snaps the Googlebug car, cameras and operator getting confiscated/arrested. What a laugh that would be!
*T&C's apply: Anon
I'm sure they were just going through Middelsbrough to get somewhere else. I mean, would anyone ther actually know how to turn on a computer let alone access Google Street View.
Like the other poster - why a UK (London - Wimbledon 2008) registered Opel? Perhaps from Eire?
Why does this sort of stuff even bother me!
Need a lie down.
Mine appears to be the anorack....
Spotted in Paisley
how long before it's on maps.google.co.uk though?
My neighborhood only recently appeared in streetview but the pics look to have been taken in the October/November timeframe.
They obviously swooped in unnoticed, as there's nobody in view, and thus nothing interesting to see.
Re: Opel and Re: legality
AC - the continental Opel is the same thing as the UK Vauxhall.
Tim - the owner of a photograph is the photographer, not the subject. The only case where it gets more complicated is in private property, which the streets of $UKcity aren't.
Police appropriation of stuff also isn't relevant unless they're loitering, which is a bit difficult not to do when you're stuck in London queueueueueueues...
Aren't there enough cameras in London already, surely they could just get some shots from those instead of this silly enterprise......unless the camera's already there are crap......
I wonder why the Police aren't cracking down on these potential terrorists and paedophiles as all photographers are nowadays, the police have told us this so IT MUST BE TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!22221111.....
ah, who needs the twatotron
Where do I claim the £500?
You're other half called the conference - I managed to cover for you. Was stuck on the Basingstoke bpass for hours trying to get home.
paris? 'cos she'd probably bypass Basingstoke too.
Owner of photographs?
"the owner of a photograph is the photographer, not the subject"
That'll be why models sign release forms ...?
It was in Inverness last week, never saw it myself (so nothing to tell the grandkids about), but various friends did.
Curiously, some odd-shaped aerial-looking devices popped up on a few lampposts at the same time. Still not got to the bottom of that one....
Like an inverted capital F, they are cable-tied on. Any ideas, helicopter-watchers ?
'Police appropriation of stuff also isn't relevant unless they're loitering'
So you mean that as long as when I want to take photo's in public as long as I am walking or running or if I don't stop to look at the pictures I've just taken on my camera or playback some video then nothing will happen to me!
I thought nothing would happen to me because it was the law!
Thanks for your reassurances - though it's a brave man who chooses blind faith and puts them to the test!
Coat - the one with the SD memory cards, spare batteries and mini DV tapes in the pockets (well - they were in the pockets before the police went past the coat rack .....)
Also spotted in Telford...
...looking lost whilst driving around the town centre.
Seen (and snapped) in Cardiff
He was on his mobile, and left as the bus approached the stop... while still on his mobile! ;)
Look, Tim, if I can see you walking down the street, and I can remember that I saw you walking down the street, then there is NOTHING to stop me taking a picture of you walking down the street. A photograph, or even video, is just a permanent reminder of something the photographer saw. If you don't want to be photographed, then don't leave the house, and keep your curtains shut.
Oh, and buy a Mac, they are better than windows machines.
I was following this in Leeds
it was the same car (tell by reg plate) on 12th June. btw he was quite rude in assuming I'd let him out of a junction - typical southern driver! he then proceeded to snap away without prior permission!! (LEDs flashing on the camera equipment) whilst merrily strolling along past the main white building at Leeds University.
I didnt pull a face or flash anything a) because I was driving and b) quite shocked at his cheeky junction-exiting manoeuvre
So when was this confernce in basingstoke? And is it a gay only event?
@Craig Re: £500
'Where do I claim the £500? '
a) There's no arrest or confiscation evident
b) It's not in the UK (T&C's*)
c) I believe the officer is actually asking "Does my bike look big in this?" and noting down the web address the pics will be on & drivers details so he can go check.
*T&C's state everything must be in UK & done UK stylee - that's at least a tacit "or we'll log onto the PNC and amend your details to terrorist/paedo" if not an all out (erroneous) "we think what you're doing is illegal - therefore it is"
Coat: Yep - pockets weren't empty but tapes and SD cards had been wiped
"The Septics" spotted one
Saw one roaming the streets of northwest suburbs of Chicago last week while at a stop sign.
so that's what that was
I saw it last week in South London, and couldn't work out what the hell the device stuck to the cars roof was for.
@Spotted in Paisley
No. they're all black.
Don't let him near Bracknell...
Or he'll need a new camera, car, wallet, clothes...
that's put my mind at rest
I was following one in my RRV in Oxford last month and wondered what the dickens it was. Glad it wasn't the lizard overlords survey vehicle.
car photographer caught out?
Judging by the angle of the shot of this GoogleCar, it seems it was the driver who took this photo, and looking at the quality, it must be from a camera-phone, therefore slap a nice 3pts + £60 fine to Mr Ziad al-Hasso and posting it on the web ;)
mines the one with the blue flashing lights
Spotted in Liverpool
Bricked up with no wheels and the cameras stripped off the roof.
Get your scroogle t-shirts and hats £15 each ;)
@ Mr Smin
"Glad it wasn't the lizard overlords survey vehicle."
Who do you think are in charge of Google's takeover of the planet?
When we are all totally reliant on Google for everything IT they will just pull the plug and humans will turn on each other while the lizards feed on our pain.
's obvious, innit?
If Google is taking pics (and posting them online to add insult to injury!) in the streets, then you can too! All you have to do when you're getting [arrested | your stuff confiscated | your Flash wiped] is to point out to the police that Google does it too so it must be legal, and all will be fine and they'll let you go in peace.