Google Street View is a feature of Google Maps and Google Earth that provides for many streets in the world 360° horizontal and 290° vertical panoramic views from a row of positions along the street (one in every 10 or 20 meters, or so), from a height of about 2.5 meters. It was launched on May 25, 2007, and has gradually expanded to include more cities, and in these cities more streets, and also some rural areas. These photographs are currently available for countries including United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. Coverage is shown by dragging "pegman" from its position, on a map of any scale.
Google Street View displays scans taken from a fleet of Chevrolet Cobalt, Saturn Astra or Toyota Prius cars in North America, Opel Astras in continental Europe and the United Kingdom, Holden Astras in Australia and New Zealand, Toyota Prius cars in Japan, Fiat Stilos in Brazil and Daewoo Kalos in Mexico. Pedestrian areas, narrow streets and park alleys that cannot be accessed by car are not always covered. However, sometimes Google Trikes (tricycles) are used. On each of these cars (and tricycles) there are nine directional cameras for the 360° views, GPS units for positioning, three laser range scanners, manufactured by SICK, for the measuring of up to 50 meters 180° in the front of the vehicle. On the cars there are also 3G/GSM/Wi-Fi antennas for scanning 3G/GSM and Wi-Fi hotspots. Recent, high quality images are based on open source hardware cameras from Elphel. These cameras are also used by Google book search.
Where available, street view images appear after zooming in beyond the highest zooming level in maps and satellite images, and also by dragging "pegman" to some position. Using the keyboard or mouse the horizontal and vertical viewing direction and the zoom level can be selected. A straight or broken line in the photo shows the approximate path followed by the camera car; two arrows link to the next photo in each direction. At junctions and crossings of camera car routes, more arrows are shown.
On November 21, 2008, Street View was added to the Maps application installed on all of Apple iPhones. On December 10, 2008, Street View was added to the Maps application for S60 3rd Edition. Street view has now also been added to the Windows Mobile version of Google Maps. All versions of Google Maps for Android feature street view, and the digital compass can be used to look around the locations.
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