Google Street View Trike hits hard-to-reach U.S. landmarks

October 17, 2009

Google Street View Trike hits hard-to-reach U.S. landmarksGoogle has been busy mapping the entire world at street level for the past few years. But its Street View cars aren’t able to photograph everywhere purely because they need roads to access places of interest. Which means that a great many hard-to-reach places such as landmarks and sports venues have been left out. Until now. Enter the Google Street View trike.

Google Street View is a brilliant innovation that has been greeted in a mostly positive fashion. However, there are always exceptions, and Google has encountered problems in the U.S., the U.K., Greece and Japan to name but four countries. All of which saw individuals or groups complain the service broke privacy laws.

I’m not too sure how those people will feel about the new Google Street View trike.

The trike has already visited Europe, with residents of the U.K. having been given the chance to vote for the landmarks visited by it during the summer. And now it’s the turn of North America to get the pleasure of a visit from the strange, photo-taking contraption as seen in the photo above and the video below.

Google is now giving Americans the chance to vote for which locations they want the Street View trike to visit. The six categories on offer are “Parks & Trails, University Campuses, Pedestrian Malls (e.g., outdoor shopping areas, boardwalks), Theme Parks & Zoos, Landmarks, and Sports Venues (e.g., golf courses, racing tracks, stadium grounds).”

Nominations for locations to be visited will take place between now and Oct. 28 on Google.com/trike. At that point, all the suggestions will be compiled into shortlists to be voted for by all and sundry. The winners in each category will then be getting a visit from the Street View trike, complete with funny looking rider.

This may seem like fun but it shows Google’s commitment to mapping as much of the world as it possibly can. Whether that’s a good thing or not depends on your point of view. Some will call it an invasion of privacy while others will make attempts at getting their face in the photo. I’d probably be in the latter category, but then I know Google will only blur out my face anyway so what’s the point?

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