back to article Blighty surrenders to Street View

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 …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    One finger salute

    Outside 4 Alexandra Villas brighton, BN13RE there is a chappie giving the street view car the traditional British welcome.

    1. MattD
      Coffee/keyboard

      After a little searching

      http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en-GB&geocode=&q=4+Alexandra+Villas+brighton,+BN13RE&sll=51.195366,-0.609187&sspn=0.000504,0.001629&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=4+Alexandra+Villas,+Brighton,+East+Sussex+BN1+3RE,+United+Kingdom&ll=50.827612,-0.14529&spn=0,359.973929&t=h&z=16&layer=c&cbll=50.827714,-0.145334&panoid=DPoncQH6CmqO_gusuhx4oA&cbp=12,221.75,,1,14.21

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Eek! Read up on the Google map API!

        Of the above, you only really need::

        http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?&ll=50.827612,-0.14529&t=h&layer=c&z=16&cbll=50.827714,-0.145334&cbp=12,221.75,,1,14.21

        [you could leave off the first parameter too, Google will assume it from the streetview co-ords]

  2. James Le Cuirot
    Unhappy

    Too early!

    Trust them to drive past before the council cleared the graffiti opposite my place.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Herds

    I spotted a herd of them in Milton Keynes on Google maps

    http://maps.google.co.uk/?ie=UTF8&ll=52.054654,-0.727329&spn=0,359.961762&t=h&z=15&layer=c&cbll=52.054652,-0.727496&panoid=zxedCDuBx25dGO0aPQBOYw&cbp=12,282.92,,2,-0.45

  4. Nic 3
    Thumb Up

    Let me get this in early...

    Shock news, I actually like Street View, it's really interesting.

    Oh and I dont find the fact that someone can see the front of my house on the net any more scary than watching someone walk by my house.

    Queue lots of Down votes :)

  5. Anonymous Cowherder
    Black Helicopters

    Bin day

    I knew it! My house is on there with the recycling and normal bin sitting pretty outside of my house. Do the google cameras have a list of every bin day in the country and go round then?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems to have holes

    Seems to have holes in the map, e.g. look at Kingston Wharf and Kingston street, HU1 don't seem to be fully covered.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Espagnol

    Is it just me, or does the Opel in Trefonen bear Spanish plates?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes Nic3, whatever you say

      Yes Mr 3, what you are saying it completely true, you really don't mind people watching you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC

        Nic 3 didn't say they minded people watching them, they said they didn't mind a Google Street View camera taking a photo of the front of their house and chose to equate it to someone walking past the front of their house and looking at it as they did, which, thank God, isn't *yet* wrong and is in fact a far cry from the popular definition of "watching" somebody or something. In case you're having trouble with the definition, I, personally, like to think of myself *looking* at a static photo and *watching* a video.

        Do you understand? Do you even think you understand?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Nic 3

          "Nic 3 didn't say they minded people watching them"

          So he DOES mind people watching him?

          "didn't mind a Google Street View camera taking a photo of the front of their house"

          He didn't link to the street view of his house and hid behind a generic name. 'nic 3'.

          "and chose to equate it to someone walking past the front of their house and looking at it as they did"

          So he doesn't mind me watching him outside his house just as long as I walk?

          "I, personally, like to think of myself *looking* at a static photo and *watching* a video."

          I personally don't think he is happy for EITHER me to take a static photo OR a video. Rather I think he hopes to hide among the millions of houses, hoping never to be revealed.

          However, if he's happy, he can let elReg give us his IP address when he's home, and he can show his house, and we can therefore verify that IP address is at that location and all take a look at the street view that he is so happy with.

          Is that fair? I'm not asking for his name, or telephone number, just his home IP address (he can reset his broadband router afterwards to get a new one), and the link to the streetview he's OK with.

          OK?

          1. heyrick Silver badge
            WTF?

            WTF are you on?

            Walking through town, I see lots of houses. I don't know anybody. Even if I say hello to the woman weeding her garden, I still don't know her. And, in time, I'll forget...

            Driving to the next town for shopping. That time we drove from Guildford to southern Spain - do you have any idea how many houses I went by, how many people I saw?

            Streetview is like that. A snapshot in time, a guy with his finger up at the camera, a woman squatting for a pee, rampaging frogmen... and billions of people's houses.

            It only gets creepy when somebody picks an address and tries to find out information they don't really have a need to know, except in a pseudo-stalking sense.

            Therefore, there's a whole world of difference between Nic 3 saying he isn't bothered if his house is on streetview, as his will be one of millions and in that context the benefits of the service outweigh the disadvantages... as opposed to your asking for his IP address (WTF do you want that for) plus seeing his house on streetview, which would suddenly make his house one of, er, one. Oh, and unless Nic is really a girl with a foreign name, you can probably extract an address from streetview and look in references (voters register, etc) for the most likely real address. You may be able to find out his length of occupancy. Perhaps even a credit rating. Phone number too, if not unlisted. There is nothing inherently wrong with the concept of streetview, it is basically map-with-pictures. We just don't randomly give out our coordinates because of creeps like you...

            As for a look at the streetview he's so happy with, try this: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?t=p&layer=c&cbll=45.08891,6.430092&cbp=12,112.97,,0,-10.38&z=10 I'm sure you'll agree that it is quite something.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Heart

      Herd = Attack Squad

      This will be the squad they sent to do Broughton then...

      Ha pesky yocals might stop one car but theres three roads into that village...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      You are spot on!

      I too would put anywhere with a Huddersfield post code in a list of 'holes'.

      (And I grew up in Stevenage, so consider myself an expert on the subject).

      :0)

      1. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!

        D'Oh!

        "HU" is Hull, "HD" is Huddersfield.... So much for being an expert on the subject!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Happy

          LOL. You got me. :0)

          ...although I was referring to being an expert on shit-hole towns (not post codes).

          But sure Hull can go on the list too, if you insist.

          1. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!
            Pint

            Sporting reply!

            You sure you're in the right place? Have a pint for being such a good sport!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            To Hull and back.

            I've been to Hull, I insist.

    4. Ivan Headache
      Thumb Up

      They must have...

      It's bin day on my street too!

    5. heyrick Silver badge
      Happy

      Wow...

      This is like self-referential humour...

      1. JaffaMan

        Yep

        And mine, and my parents!!

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Also bin day in front of my house

      We also have the bins in front of my house!

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ITYF

      The collective noun is 'gaggle' not herd.

  8. Michael Hutchinson
    FAIL

    5%

    Is there a prize for being part of the 5% that didnt get streetviewed?

  9. Gordon861

    Bin Days

    Looks like they hit my street on bin day as well, they probably do that because some areas have parking restriction on the days that the bins are emptied, so they get a better view of the houses.

    I also notice that the pictures seem to be at least two years on in my area, before I changed the car and before we got the recycling bins.

  10. Ben Brandwood
    Thumb Up

    Amazing

    Is it just me, or does everyone else find this to be a staggering achievement?

    To have street level imaging available for the majority of the country, in high quality, is something that would have been a pipe dream a handful of years ago.

    To have it free at the point of consumption (yes Ad supported, yes, google is evil etc) is even more astonishing.

    I remember the first forays of public imaging with world wind, mapquest in the early 2000's. How far we've come now!

    Wow.

  11. MattD
    Black Helicopters

    Google Crash

    It caught this nasty picture of a crash outside our place.

    http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en-GB&geocode=&q=gu7&sll=51.236483,-0.806122&sspn=0.00403,0.013036&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Godalming,+Surrey+GU7,+United+Kingdom&ll=51.19527,-0.609096&spn=0.000504,0.001629&t=h&z=20&layer=c&cbll=51.195366,-0.609188&panoid=cPTzyl41Ub64jGAn3Q6G-Q&cbp=12,69.65,,0,33.82

    I think the driver was distracted by the spy mobile.

    1. Gareth.
      Happy

      RE: Michael Hutchinson - Prize for 5%

      Ooh, I hope so... they drove around my house from pretty much every angle but didn't bother driving into my cul-de-sac so my dustbin and recycling boxes aren't famous.

      Where do I sign-up for my free gift? I do hope it's a free Google Phone :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      They did Scarborough

      during Christmas 2008, so yes, they are old images.

      Not that it matters... the images look a lot better than I thought they would, when I saw the car trundling up the main street it was dark as night, but looks half decent online.

      I've also seen my laptop screen on it, but not me :-)

    3. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
      Boffin

      Hmmm

      Didn't think riverford delivered as far as Surrey, what with their main farm being in Devon...

      1. LinkOfHyrule
        Joke

        People in Surrey

        Some people in Surrey would get their oxygen delivered if Able & Cole or Acardo offered it!

        I live in Surrey by the way before you 'Surrey fanbois' start dissing me! And I get stuff delivered. So there!

    4. LinkOfHyrule
      Thumb Up

      Yes, It's totally amazing!

      I totally agree with you. I remember when I was kid, I kind of imagined something similar to what street view is, knowing that it would in theory be possible to do, but also 'knowing' it would never happen due to the cost and the "fact" that apart from sados like me who are interested in things like geography etc, there would be no demand for it. Plus I honestly did not think it would be possible to store such vast amounts of data, not that I knew anything about that sort of thing back then.

      I'm totally stunned! It took global mage-corp google to do it, but hey its pretty amazing! I would sue them for nicking my idea accept my version of it I imagined as a kid sort of combined teleportation too. Give google another 15 years and i'm sure they will offer that service too!

      1. Ivan Headache

        Absolutely agree

        But when are they going to photograph Florida with the same quality. Have a look at Naples - it's very hard to identify anything.

    5. Conrad Longmore
      Coat

      Bins

      Bin day at my house too.. uncanny. Except of course if they only take photos on weekdays then 20% of the streets will have bins out.

    6. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Yup..

      "Is there a prize for being part of the 5% that didnt get streetviewed?"

      Yes, euthanasia under Gordon Brown's new plan to ensure some remaining pension funds after he personally destroyed them a few years ago. As usual they didn't get the timing right - Google was supposed to go live AFTER the announcement.

      I suggest you hide while you can - at least they can't do a sit rep using Streetview..

    7. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
      Joke

      Impressive bit of scrambling..

      I'm impressed to the lengths they go to scramble license plates. They even scrambled the vehicles..

  12. Gordon Henderson
    Thumb Up

    Exellent!

    Snapped their car on the A38 some 16 months back thinking they're just doing Exeter then Plymouth, but today I find my rural town just off the A38 in Devon online!

    However, they've been back since then - probably last August/September (I know as I had scaffolding round the house then) so maybe they came back to fill in the gaps!

  13. James Hughes 1

    Cool!

    Even my house is on there; and I live in the middle of nowhere.

  14. MJI Silver badge

    Damn

    I was at home when they came along our street, but they didn't photograph at the end of our close so I can't see my car.

    Tried the road I saw the Googlemobile on - nope not there either.

    What do I have to do to get on Streetview?

  15. ElFatbob
    Thumb Down

    Re: amazing

    Amazing, technologically yes. But i'm also slightly disturbed given the company that now owns all this data.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Why shouldn't they own it?

      They paid for it to be done. And the doing was entirely legal. They probably even paid road tax on the cars, so that covers the road depreciation, if you want to be really picky.

  16. Charlie Oscar

    GRR

    I got stuck behind one of these, kept two fingers stuck out of the window at it

  17. Chris Hunt
    Thumb Up

    Amazing achievement

    I hope they're gonna store all this data somewhere safe. Imagine how interesting it'll be to historians in the future to have a snapshot of the whole country - like a visual Domesday Book.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Historical imagery

      I concur.

      Much like the historical imagery feature of Google Earth, which only usually goes back 10-15 years or so, it would be interesting if they perform this project every 10 or 15 years to be able to select a "time era", and view the differences in roads, people, buildings, types of car etc.

      Fascinating!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Black Day for Broughton

    It is indeed a black day for Broughton,

    http://tinyurl.com/yjxxlfr

    Although the G-car eventually drove through the village and captured it, it seems that G complied to the morons and removed the whole village.

    Now where do we apply to get Broughton physically removed from the UK?

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Umm...?

      Ambergate to London Road. London Road right. Nice day.

      Ends in a cul-de-sac backing on to, but not joining, the A5130.

      Dragged peg guy over to that road, marked Broughton Village. Not so sunny. Followed the road back to Ambergate then on a bit.

      Dragged peg guy to the ugly new-built 'town' south-west (says Oxford House Dental Surgery on the map).

      You point being?

      Or is this stuff only blocked to the whingin' poms?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Google Relented!

        Turns out it was a 'Technical Glitch' Broughton is BACK!

        http://tinyurl.com/yd9vn42

        WIN FOR COMMON SENSE!

        PS for anyone who doesn't know why this is posted see this: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/04/03/street_view_repulsion/

  19. Ol'Peculier
    Thumb Up

    Roll-out

    I'm amazed that they released such a huge update in one go - there must be thousands of people looking at their houses, offices, mistresses house etc., not just here but Hong Kong has been updated too, as well as many more places.

    Maybe we could get them to do the next big government site that inevitability falls over under the strain of a couple of dozen people using it at once, rather than the handful of developers the server was used to?

  20. Bilgepipe
    Megaphone

    Privacy Shmivacy

    My home is on it. And predictably, there's no sign of me, my wife, the cat or what we are doing. I can't be identified as the owner, it's not called "Bilepipe Towers" or "Duncommentin," no-one knows if I'm even in or not.

    The whole "OMG people can see my home" nonsense is just paranoia. Calm down, people. If you don't want people seeing your house, cover it up with something*.

    * And if you're sitting in the garden with no clothes on, you get what you deserve...

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