Blighty today surrendered to Sreet View's all-seeing eye as Google extended the service's coverage to encompass 95 per cent of the UK. The news will come as no surprise to El Reg's eagle-eyed readership, who kept a close eye on the search monolith's Orwellian black Opels as they prowled Great Britain. Here's our Web 0.2 …
My cats ARE on it! And the one looking directly at the camera hasn't got her face blurred (just furred)!
Web Controls Ahoy....
Giving serious consideration to blocking google maps just for today as users are doing f*ck all work!!!
'oooo my house......wow thats my car.....ooo it's a thursday the bins are out'
yadda yadda... yeah ok, now can you pleeeease earn IT some money so we can fritter some of it away on unnecessary projects to keep us all in a job.
I'm glad I don't work any longer :)
did Google use the one-off chance to map all our WiFi's?
Wonder if Google had a WiFi sniffer running along with the cameras...this was Google's 1 off opportunity to collect a full DB of every UK WiFi Router's signature for non-GPS location services (as www.skyhookwireless.com has done before).
....I only turn the router on if I'm about to go online - all other times it's off.
And, since the 'Googlemobile' came round ours on binday (Tuesday) then I would've been out most definitely.
No, not really.
Not unless the discussion at Google went something along the lines of "Chris Roughneen is likely to have his router turned off therefore we will skip the whole of the UK"
There's no need, really. You can build the database dynamically: if I use a service to look up my location by sending a list of detected SSIDs, then the server can add any unrecognized access points to its database and eventually infer their positions too
i have to get permission to take pictures of my kids when they are playing football but its ok for google to put pictures of my kids up for everyone to see?
does anyone know what rights we have to force them to remove images of us or our families?
i suspect i know the answer but its worth asking!
They will remove or mask any image you ask them to, within reason. However, since their software blurs all faces and number plates automatically by default, who's going to know they're your kids anyway?
"i have to get permission to take pictures of my kids when they are playing football but its ok for google to put pictures of my kids up for everyone to see?"
If they're out in public at the time the StreetView car drove by, then yes it is OK, and it SHOULD also be OK for you to take photos in similar circumstances. This puzzles me about the hoo-hah over Street View - so many people think it's a bad thing, and yet at least some of these people must surely also be part of the group of people who believe individuals ought to be free to take photos in public without fear of recrimination or having some jumped up semi-official demanding to know what they're up to, why they're up to it, and to delete all photos taken whilst doing it.
It really is pathetic what has happened these last few years. There are millions of children in this country. If you go and walk down almost any street in any settlement you'll find children. There are already millions of images of children online, it does not make them any more likely to be abused by a pedophile.
People in this country need to get a grip and stop being so rediculous.
What *does* make children more likely to be abused is if they have an unstable family and a poor relationship with their parents, or if they have a mental condition which makes them more vunerable than usual. That chance of you being able to deduce any of these from a photograph taken in a public place is practically zero.
The vast majority of child abuse is done by people that know the child or are in a position of trust (typically family member, teachers, priests etc).
children? Give me a break!
You only have to get permission to take pictures of your children if on private property. And it has nothing to do with the fact that they're children. It is absolutely fine for google to put up pictures of your children if they were taken in a public place, just as it is for me to do it.
I think what you actually need is a cloaking device if you're worried about this kind of thing, I mean, what happens when someone actually physically LOOKS at your children?? Won't someone think of them! Please!
Could I suggest you lock your children up inside immediately, it's the only way you can be absolutely sure they won't be seen by the paedophile army that monitors every street corner just in case a lone child wanders by. Everyone who reads the Daily Express/Mail, The Sun/Mirror or the News of the World knows this is the truth.
Alternatively, stop buying the Redtops as they're definitely having a detrimental effect on your perspective.
Your kids are statistically far more likely to be abused by a family friend or even a member of your family than a stranger, let alone a stranger who sees them on Google despite what the trash media would have you believe so get a grip, it's lunatic paranoid people like you that feed the tabloid frenzy and make our politicians think we want to be restrained more than a Tory MP on a night off.
Oh, and yes, I do have kid of my own.
It's idiots like the OP who have forced schools and children's clubs to ban parents taking pictures of their kids.
You reap what you sow.
Builder's crack on view here:
Oooh not far from me, think I might be printing that out and posting it tomorrow!
This isn't exactly real-time imagery.
Before I saw this story, I happened to check Google Maps for my address and found that StreetView had magically appeared for it. We moved to our house in September 2008, and in late October 2008 we had some outbuildings and concrete paving in the back garden demolished so that we could make a proper garden. The StreetView pics show my wife's car in the driveway, the trees still in autumn leaves, and all the outbuildings still intact. So at least for my street, these pictures are between 17 and 18 months old.
Oh, and for the benefit of the AC above... Yes, this is my real name, and elsewhere online I always use the handle "Grab" which is a trivially abbreviated version of my real name (and trivial research will find various places which say what my real name is). My postcode is CB3 0QG, and I can't be arsed to link to the exact location, but it's the one with the black Cityrover in front of the house, behind a bit of a hedge. Being on Virgin, I doubt I've got a static IP address. And some trivial investigation will also find my company website. Since all this is a matter of public record, I conduct myself online as I would if I was talking to you in person. I don't much give a damn who knows any of this.
In further information, anyone who thinks it's a laugh to make silent/abusive calls, or who thinks it's a laugh to come round and be annoying in person, will quickly find the police involved.
“Arrogance diminishes wisdom”
Apparently my flat is still in the middle of development works (I've been here a year, and am the second tenant at that) and the shops under me aren't even open.
The fact is, the only people who have a complaint against street-view are the ones who have no idea how it works and are just trotting out any hogwash argument they can think of.
The rest of it I applaud though.
Heriot-Watt University did a project to photo every business premise like this in Scotland in 1993/1994. they used a modified transit van and encoded all the photos on huge dinner plate sized laser disks because they were the obvious future of storage.
Introducing Google LIVE view
We were the FIRST to bring you grainy satellite images.
The first to supplement these with flight images.
The first to bring you actual views at street level.
Now.... Google goes one better..... announcing, Google LIVE view!
Yes finally, the gazillion CCTVs installed across Britain are accessible 24/7 are now accessible at the click of a mouse!
And you didn't complain when showed your town, your street, and your house, so it's a little late to complain now that we've made it LIVE!
Coming soon! Google Living Rooms Live! Using our new Android image indexing service, now you too can see what we at Google have been looking at for a long time!
Fine, No Problem.
Mind you... GoogleBed and GoogleBath might be getting a bit iffy!
But there will be an opt-out
It's horrible to think that Brits might be photographed as they go about their business, all across the country. It's good to see you're sticking up for yourselves, though - heaven knows where this might lead.
Imagine if it were done with live video cameras everywhere, and worse, what if only the government had access! Now THAT would be scary. Better to head it off at the pass by foaming at the mouth about still photos before it gets that bad!
Cripes! Freedom to take and publish photos!
Whoda thunk it?
Personally, my issues with privacy in this country are less that Google's allowed to take photos of public spaces and more that Phorm's allowed to watch me download them.
I can see my house from here...!
Well, I can see what anyone walking or driving past my house can see.
And even though I have very strong views on civil liberties (or perhaps that should be because) I don't see anything wrong with allowing people to take photographs in a public place.
Do you? (See "I'm a photographer, not a terrorist" on facebook for more details)
Official Secrets Act compliance?
It's interesting to see how Google use selective pixelation to ensure compliance with the Official Secrets Act:
No sign, no crime?
Oooh, I'm on there five times that I've found so far in different places and I haven't found/can't remember where else I've followed or been passed by Google cars.
NIMBY! - invasion of privacy!
It's an invasion of privacy!
Now someone can see exactly what I wasn't doing at an unspecified date at random intervals of a year or two - terrible!
Crims could plan a raid on my property by determining that an unspecified time ago, I wasn't at home and had left the back door open!
Mandy can now now not only see what I was typing online against the government, but also see into my back yard and maybe spot my nefarious potato growing activities!
I'm going to phone the Chocolate Factory and demand that my house is blurred out!
Big Brother is real and his HQ is the Chocolate Factory!
The off-road versions...
Do we have some drivers here?...
Does anyone have a phone number to call to get google to come back and re-do our street...
the day they came down the road was the day before we had the front of our hotel painted and the new sign go up.
a few days after all the flowerbeds were re-done !!!
I can pinpoint the exact time and date the streetview car came down our street because one of our neighbours was standing on the doorstep when the guys arrived to install a stairlift... and our car had gone as the missus went to pick up the kids from school !!!
pitty it wasnt after we had the front re-vamped or i could have used the images on our website lol...
looking at the number of negaitve votes my post got clearly it is only me that cares that pictures of my family will be put up for everyone to see against my will.
i dont care they blur the face - it is my child outside our house!
i'll climb under my stone and hide just incase they come round again.
I'm sorry you feel this way
But, the plain fact of the matter is, most people's houses are now on Street View, and under the UK Photography laws, this is perfectly acceptable. Your child is outside in public, again our Photography laws allow for the photography of any individual who is outside, providing that individual was not in a place that they were expecting privacy (the anti-paparazzi section). If your child is outside in public view, then Google photographing it, is the same as a tourist photographing it.
The law allows for the free publication of these photos as well, providing they are not of an extreme obscene nature, or used in an extreme obscene way (such as peado sites).
Don't hate the player(s) hate the game, but tbh there are a lot of militant photographers out here (I'm not so militant) that fight for our right to free photography in public.
If that upsets you so much
You had better keep your spouse and child under that stone as well, and I'm sure the majority of us would prefer that you stayed there and never came out because it's people like you that are destroying our freedom.
Some slightly off-road bits online too
If you visit Urquhart Castle up on Loch Ness in person, you can't drive up to the gate, yet some sort of Googlemobile has gone up a path off the road:
I'm on google streetview
I'm on it here:
I'm the guy on the small folding bike waving at the googlebox car.
Ironically my house in the same town isn't on view.
Titular ID totally uncoordinated through alcohol
I really like this. In the first few minutes of it going live I was able to "visit" the houses once owned by both sets of grandparents (now long passed, sadly); to see my childhood home and find out that my brother hasn't cut his hedges in what looks like ten years.
Privacy issues? Puhlease.
Streetview is fantastic.
I just looked at the cottage I "was" going to rent on the Gower this summer; I'm now going to another village thanks.
Found my sister-in-law outside her new place br Crook, up by Newcastle - she wasn't washing her car, she was doing a Nora Batty over the fence with her new neighbour.
What a brilliant waste of time this will prove to be - I love it.
Gordon Brown's house
No, not the London one. You can see a surfeit of CCTV cameras and two plods up the driveway.
Bit of a difference between street view and photographers.
IF i take a picture somewhere, of something or someone, the chances are it will stay with me forever, my friends, family might see. No chance of twatter or farce-book ever seeing it as i dont use them, so what i do with my pics is my choice as they never end up in the pubic (sic) domain.
If im asked to delete a picture for whatever reason (say its a bad portrait) then i will do so.
You dont have that choice with google, they snapped you, your house, your car, your dog etc etc. I had my house removed because:
A: you could clearly see no car on the drive (house unoccupied?)
B:You could clearly see alarm box (something worth knicking?)
C: You could see the disabled hand rail attached outside the door my elderly, disabled mother uses to get in and out of the house (so, someone old or disabled living there)
THATS why i baulked at google and told em to remove the pictures. 3 attempts it took but now, my parents house is blacked out.
Marvellous. Should never have been photographed without my permission in the fisrt fucking place. Twunts.
You mean the house was unoccupied once, up to 18 months ago. I'm sure burglars would really find that information useful.
And presumably your highly-visible alarm box is to *deter* thieves? Why not remove it, if you think it invites them?
I half expected you to end with
D: You can clearly see the tin-foil on the roof (paranoiac?)
Nope, no difference at all
Whilst you might personally agree to any and all "take down" requests for the photos you take, and whilst you might never share any of the photos you take with the public at large, please don't think for one second that this means every individual photographer will behave as you do, nor even that there is any requirement for them to do so. Because they don't, and there isn't.
If anything, Google are going above and beyond their requirements by giving you the ability to censor their photos of you/your property, even if it did take you a whole three attempts to get the message through to them. You think you'd have a similar level of co-operation from J.Arthur Random if you happened to notice they'd stuck a photo of your house up on Facebook/Photobucket/Picasa/some other website? I suspect most of your requests would be answered, if not literally, then in spirit with two words, the second of which would be "off"...
Finally, are Google the twunts for photographing your house without asking first, or are you the twunt for thinking they needed to ask in the first place? As much as certain parts of our dear leadership would like it to be the case, and as much as certain people in (or who perceive themselves to be in) authority think it's the case, there are fortunately still very few genuine restrictions on when and where photos can be taken in this country.
Howcome Everywhere Girl isn't on there anywhere?
"did Google use the one-off chance to map all our WiFi's?"
Interesting question, as is the question of whether Google Maps (for Mobile) reports back what SSIDs it can find.
For more info on how the WiFi end of Google Maps works, read about Skyhook Wireleess.
The OP is an idiot
If I wanted to stand in front of your house and take pictures of your children I could do it and I wouldn't be blurring faces.
It would not be illegal, so get over yourself.
This is a great thing. The problems with the system are where idiots have moaned about something and got sections removed. I can't even see my own house now because of some idiot complaining about their house being visible.
What they need to do now is redo some areas that have been messed up and do more deals like they have with the National Trust to use the trikes to do roads/paths where cars can't go.
If you want to complain about anything, look at the birds eye view on Bing Maps. That really will give you more information about your houses, ways in and out etc. All Google Streetview is doing is showing what I could see if I walked down your street. Or would you want to stop me doing that as well?
I am very surprised that we've not seen big adverts for this though.
Now you *really* are paranoid.
A. The house was unoccupied when the Google car went past, 18 months back. So let's burgle the place now, bcos it's probably still unoccupied! I think not.
B. Alarm box = *maybe* something worth nicking (fake alarm boxes cost a tenner, incidentally), but more importantly a near-guarantee that the moment you get through the door, everyone in the area is going to be looking out their windows. Burglars are opportunists and will always take the easy target. Dogs or burglar alarms are damn near guarantees that no-one's coming in. Unless your "house" is actually a multi-million pound mansion wallpapered with Picassos, in which case the kind of criminals who'd do that job are the type for whom StreetView isn't giving them anything they haven't already taken much better photos of.
C. A hand rail may also mean someone disabled/elderly once lived there, or that an able-bodied person who lives there (or lived there) had an elderly/disabled friend/relative. My previous house had a handrail at the door because the previous owner's mother was disabled. We were there 7 years, and the handrail was still there when we left.
Google don't even have to take down those photos. They've seen nothing that Phil the Photographer wouldn't have snapped and posted online whilst documenting historically important houses, and Phil is under no legal obligation to take down pics of your house (provided he was on public land when he took the pics). And they've certainly seen nothing that Bob the Burglar wouldn't have seen better when he walked casually down your road scoping out whose place to break into next.
You'd be paranoid too if they were plotting against you...
@ cornz 1:
Put yourself in the position of a potential burglar. Would you spend hours checking out houses in that sort of detail on streetview, when you know that (a) the images are over a year old, and (b) you're creating a log of your activities with your IP that is OBVIOUSLY going to be evidence against you...
...or would you take a stroll or drive down the street one nice day and do it that way?
By the way, do you think the burglar who does use street view is more or less likely to go and have a look at the house that's been blacked out? Give your head a shake, mate.
Google Maps on Android
For anyone who hasn't tried it with an Android (Probably other handsets as well), look up Street View on Google Maps. Let it download the picture fully and you can just turn the phone around and up and down to view the area.
I had used it before and it was pretty impressive, but now with all this extra data it's even better.
I'd have assumed they wouldn't have bothered with where I work, but apparently they did.
Still ours is an anonymous building at the best of times but the management like it like that.