Street View for South Africa is live. Check it out at http://maps.google.co.za.
NEWSFLASH: Street View is now live in Botswana! See our press release top left of the Menu Sidebar.
What is Street View?Street View takes Google Maps to a new level, allowing you to visually explore and navigate a neighbourhood through panoramic street-level photographs. It enables you to view and navigate 360 degree street level imagery of various cities around the world, providing greater understanding of a specific location or area. We are delighted to have brought Street View to South Africa so that both locals and people around the globe will be able to explore the buzzing cities and stunning landscapes of South Africa right from their computers.
What can I use Street View for?
Street View has a variety of practical uses. Using Street View you can easily find the exact location for your work meeting, check what the parking options are, plan a restaurant venue to meet friends for dinner, find the best spot to watch a marathon, or check out the inside of a sports stadium. If you are moving house or re-locating, you can save time by exploring properties and their surrounding area in advance and also by looking up driving directions. Street View allows you to check out a hotel before you book, and to explore different travel destinations around the world.
Where is Street View currently available?
You can find 360 degree street level imagery for places as far afield as Australia, USA, Italy, France, Spain, New Zealand and Japan. We're working to expand our coverage to areas that are not presently covered. Keep track of new cities being added to Street View from around the world here.
Cool, how can I check it out for South Africa?
Go to http://maps.google.com In areas where Street View is available, you can access it by zooming into the lowest level on Google Maps, or by dragging the orange "Pegman" icon on the left-hand side of the map onto a street. For more info, you can also visit our site, www.google.co.za/streetview. To check out the soccer stadiums on offer in Street View, see http://maps.google.com/exploresouthafrica and see our YouTube video.
How does it all work?
Street View cars have special cameras that take photographs as they drive down public roads. Once the photographs have been taken they go through computer processing to make them ready for use on Google Maps.
This includes cutting-edge face blurring technology, which helps make sure that passers-by in the photographs can't be identified. We will also blur legible license plates. When we have enough imagery collected and processed for an area we add it to Google Maps. It goes without saying, therefore, that the imagery isn't real-time, in fact it usually takes several months from when the photograph is taken until it appears on Google Maps.
Where have you driven in South Africa?
Our Street View cars have driven about 40,000 miles across South Africa and our imagery currently covers some 27 towns and cities, including: Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, Pietermaritzburg, Bloemfontein, East London, Newcastle, Krugersdorp, Witbank, Carletonville, Alberton, Somerset West, Rustenberg, Potchefstroom, Nelspruit, Ladysmith, Worcester, Sasolburg, Grahamstown, Stellenbosch, Queenstown, Ermelo, Brakpan, Welkom, Uitenhage. We have also covered numerous special interest sites around the country, ranging from Soccer City Stadium to Addo Elephant Park to Chapman's Peak drive.
Doesn't Street View present privacy issues?
Google has gone to lengths to safeguard privacy while allowing all South African users to benefit from this feature. Street View only contains imagery that is already visible from public roads and features technology that blurs both faces and licence plates. In addition, any user can easily flag images for removal that he or she considers inappropriate by clicking on "Report a problem" when using Street View.
Does Street View present security issues by providing criminals with easy viewing of property access points?
The imagery available on Street View is no different from what people can see or photograph when walking down the street themselves, or when viewing images which are already available on a number of real estate and directory sites.
If I want to remove a particular view, who do I contact in South Africa, and how long does it take to complete that process?
Once imagery becomes available in South Africa, users who wish to remove images of their house, or submit a request for additional blurring will report the image via our easy to use tool as follows: