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back to article Google's Street View spycar clocked in London

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 …

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Black Helicopters

Ah

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.

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Go

Not just London

I've seen it over the last week or 2 roaming the streets of Edinburgh.

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Is this news?

'Cos my other half spotted one in Birmingham earlier this week :)

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Alert

Googlies

God help us if it gets out to Essex during the summer - there'll be "ladies" flashing their googlies in every frame!

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Anonymous Coward

Kids

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.

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Black Helicopters

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.

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Anonymous Coward

Opel

Looks like an Opel, are these spy cars imported from the continent?

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Old news.

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.)

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Happy

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.

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Black Helicopters

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!

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Tim

Legality?

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?

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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

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Joke

Wait until Paris!

Maybe in one will get burned when it photographs the suburbs.

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Black Helicopters

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.

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Happy

Leeds too

Didn't get a snap of it, though.

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Middlesbrough too

2-3 weeks ago my boss drove past the Google car on the A19.

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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)

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Black Helicopters

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.

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Construction and Use?

Surely an ordinary car with a contraption that size on the roof can't be legal in the UK?

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Happy

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

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Anonymous Coward

@ Mark

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.

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Coat

Opel..

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....

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Black Helicopters

Paisley Too!!!

Spotted in Paisley

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Anonymous Coward

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.

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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...

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OMG FFS

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......

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Joke

Quick question...

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

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Where do I claim the £500?

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3140/2584019149_edae7039fc_b.jpg

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Paris Hilton

@ Hans

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.

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Paris Hilton

Owner of photographs?

"the owner of a photograph is the photographer, not the subject"

That'll be why models sign release forms ...?

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This post has been deleted by its author

and..

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 ?

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Happy

@Pete

'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 .....)

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Also spotted in Telford...

...looking lost whilst driving around the town centre.

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Seen (and snapped) in Cardiff

http://www.colinjones.co.uk/images/googlecar3.jpg

He was on his mobile, and left as the bus approached the stop... while still on his mobile! ;)

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Jobs Halo

@Tim

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.

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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

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Joke

Basingstoke?

So when was this confernce in basingstoke? And is it a gay only event?

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Happy

@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

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Stop

"The Septics" spotted one

Saw one roaming the streets of northwest suburbs of Chicago last week while at a stop sign.

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Black Helicopters

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.

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@Spotted in Paisley

No. they're all black.

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Flame

Don't let him near Bracknell...

Or he'll need a new camera, car, wallet, clothes...

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Alien

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.

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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

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Coat

Spotted in Liverpool

Bricked up with no wheels and the cameras stripped off the roof.

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Stop

Scroogle

Get your scroogle t-shirts and hats £15 each ;)

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Alien

@ 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?

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J
Joke

Stop complaining!!!11!eleventyone!

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.

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