Google today announces the launch of Street View on Google Maps in New Zealand:
Street View is a new feature for Google Maps that lets internet users view and navigate 360 degree street-level imagery of New Zealand’s cities, towns, regions and remote areas.
More than 100 metropolitan areas in six other countries around the world are presently visible in Street View, which first launched in the United States in May 2007.
It’s not just about the cities though, street view can take a virtual drive along Scenic Drive to almost any remote location in New Zealand. Tourism New Zealand has selected a gallery of Street View images, available at maps.google.co.nz/streetview that showcase some of New Zealand’s best tourist attractions and locations to the world. Many other organisations have already identified significant opportunities for Street View to be used in travel, tourism, house buying and renting, education, and helping make small businesses easier to find. So hopefully this may bring back some of the tourism to New Zealand.
What can you use Google Street View for? well to get directions, companies are integrating it with their websites, enthusiasts use it to create personalised maps related to their areas of interest, check out the house in the city you want to go too. See what your best friends street looks like. Let your family and friends see what the street looks like where you are living. There are just so many options.
Google has gone to great lengths to safeguard privacy while allowing all New Zealanders to benefit from this feature. Street View only contains imagery that is already visible from public roads, and blurs identifiable faces. Anyone can easily flag for removal images that they consider inappropriate by clicking on “Report a concern” at the bottom of the Street View image in question.
The Street View imagery was collected by camera-equipped cars that drove public roads in New Zealand over the past 12 months. If you notice the picture below you can see the Christmas tree still in the square from almost 12 months ago.
In the picture above I checked out my house and then took a screen shot as I went past the office and in the picture below I have been checking my new home out and the surrounding areas and decided to take a screen shot of one of the main monuments in Christchurch. As I just said I have been an early adopter of this application in New Zealand and have been actively looking around the streets of some of the houses I am interested in buying in Christchurch. Even though I am still in New Plymouth for a number of weeks more I can easily see without ringing and asking the agents what the neighbourhood is like. This is awesome and truely something that home buyers are going to find fantastic when looking at property in locations they aren’t sure of.
In Real Estate Street View offers a very interesting and new dynamic to the mix. Now there one can look at a property online with the photos and then go to Street View and look how it is placed amongst the rest of the neighbourhood. You can now check out the street before you go to the open home, this might save you time and gay money. Trademe being their innovative self have already placed Google maps into their tourism and property sectors so that now when you look at property on Trademe you can simply click a button that will let you look at the street as well. How cool is that. And also Realestate.co.nz have added streetview to their listings so that the general public can again look at the street they are interested in possibly living on.
I hope you enjoy Street View as much as I have this morning. It’s been great checking out all the places I used to live which has bought some great memories back. It is amazing the length Google are going to become the world’s best online place to go. What next…
Leave a comment and tell me what your views are on Google Street View