After being on Malaysian roads for the past year, Google has published imagery of approximately 90 percent of the scenery found along peninsular Malaysiaâ€™s public roads, including major highways and tolled roads, state roads, urban centres and neighbourhoods. Malaysiaâ€™s off road sites, were captured the Street View Trekker, a wearable backpack mounted camera system.
Many of us who have used Google Maps may not notice the orange â€œPegmanâ€ icon on the right-hand side of the Google Map. In areas where Street View is available, street level imagery can be accessed by dragging the â€œPegman” icon onto a blue highlighted street.
What is Street View?
Street View is a 360-degree panoramic imagery taken at street level. This imagery provides an immersive browsing experience in Google Maps as users can virtually walk the streets of a city and preview destinations like restaurants and hotels before arriving. It was first launched in May 2007 in the US and has since launched in over 50 countries.
Today, Street View also covers over 50 landmarks and World Heritage sites, including iconic places in Malaysia such as Batu Caves, Taman Negara, Langkawi, Penang Hill, Malacca City and Presint 1, Putrajaya.
What are the benefits?
Beyond day-to-day directions, Street View has many fun and practical uses for consumers. One of the main benefits is that provides virtual tourism around the world. Itâ€™s great for planning holidays as you are able to see how a place really looks like before deciding to go.
For those of you who have a mummy-brain like me or are just forgetful, it will help you to find a favorite store that you can’t remember by name. For new home owners, you can virtually walk through a neighborhood before you rent or buy a property. It can even help you to locate parking spots before you visit a place.
What about privacy issues?
By now, many of you would be wondering if thieves are also using Street View to mark their next victim. Fret not, as Google takes userâ€™s privacy seriously and has developed state of the art face blurring and number plate blurring to protect people’s identities.
Street View product abides by the local laws and cultural norms of the country images are taken in. It only features imagery taken on public property and is also not real time, so it is really no different from what any person can readily capture or see walking down the street.
While the Street View feature enables people to easily find, discover, and plan activities relevant to a location, Google respects the fact that people may not want certain types of images featured. They have provided easily accessible tools for flagging inappropriate or sensitive imagery for review and removal.
â€œMalaysia is a diverse and constantly growing country, and by providing users and businesses with more useful map information, Street View can also help create lasting economic impact. We are pleased to be able to share these new panoramic imagery of Malaysia on Google Maps and we hope people around the world will find them useful and enjoyable too,â€ says Sajith Sivanandan, Managing Director, Google Malaysia.
[box type=”note”]This article is written by Geek Mommy, who tries to makes sense of the tech world for the less techie while managing a household, a part-time job & keeping a toddler busy. [/box]