Street View Driving in Botswana: Press Release

Street View on Google Maps now live in Botswana

Visit the Okavango, Chobe and Makgadikgadi from your desk


28th November, Gaborone.

Earlier this year we announced that Street View on Google Maps was coming to Botswana.  Now anyone can travel virtually to Botswana via Street View on Google Maps and explore the country’s unique scenery and world-renowned game reserves. Following the launch of Street View in South Africa just before the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Botswana will become only the second African country to be on Street View.

Street View is a hugely popular feature of Google Maps that is already available in more than 30 countries around the world. It allows users to virtually explore and navigate a neighbourhood through panoramic street-level images. It is also available in Google Earth and on Google Maps for Mobile.  For a demo on how Street View works, start here.  

In areas where Street View is available, you can access street-level imagery 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 blue highlighted street.  Take an online safari around some of Botswana’s most unique places, by exploring salt pans like the Makgadikgadi Pan, or spot wild animals in the famous Chobe National Park, home to the largest concentration of African elephants in the world.   Botswana is well known for housing the world’s largest inland river delta, the Okavango, which spans more than 16,000 square kilometres. The delta is fed by the Okavango River and is an aquatic wilderness teeming with rich wildlife. From today, anyone can experience this dynamic backdrop in Street View.  With around 70% of the country being covered by the Kalahari desert, Botswana has diverse terrain including the delta and wide open grassland and savannah areas. Depending on which kind of terrain Pegman falls on, you can navigate around some of the most remote areas of the country.

You may prefer to wander the streets of capital city Gaborone, or immerse yourself in what the area has to offer on its outskirts. You can check out a restaurant before arriving, make travel plans, arrange meeting points, or get a helping hand with geography homework. House-hunters can save time by exploring the neighbourhoods of potential properties in advance, and also by looking up driving directions. Businesses can also benefit from the Street View technology by embedding Google Maps directly into their site for free, helping them to promote a chain of hotels, B&Bs, or raise awareness about a local library or cafe.

Ory Okolloh, Policy Manager, Google Sub-Saharan Africa said, “Whether you are planning a safari, doing a homework assignment on Botswana, or promoting your local business, Street View will allow you to experience a slice of the country.  We hope to add more cultures, landscapes and sites as Street View continues to expand to new places.”

Street View was first launched on the African continent in South Africa, just before the 2010 FIFA World Cup.  Some highlights from Street View in South Africa include imagery of dozens of cities and towns, the World Cup soccer stadia, heritage sites such as Vilakazi Street in Soweto, Kruger National Park and the Cape Winelands.

To learn more about Street View, visit google.co.bw/streetview.


Editors’ Notes:

PRESS SITE: For media photos, FAQ and further information on Street View Botswana and South Africa, see https://sites.google.com/a/pressatgoogle.com/streetviewza/

Google goes to great lengths to safeguard privacy while allowing all users to benefit from this feature. As with all Street View imagery, Google will apply face-blurring and license plate blurring to all these images to protect people's privacy. Once images are available, people will be able to report images for removal by clicking on 'report a problem' on the bottom left hand corner of the image. From here they complete a short form where they indicate the precise image to be removed

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?
Users who wish to remove images of their house, or submit a request for additional blurring can report the image via our easy-to-use tool as follows
  • Locate the image
  • Click "Report a concern" in the bottom-left of the image window
  • Complete the form, and click "Submit"

Street View imagery is no different from what any person can readily capture or see traveling down the street.  Imagery of this kind is available in a variety of formats for cities all around the world, such as on real estate and property sites.  It's also important to note that Street View is not 'real time' and images will be at least several months old when published online .  While the Street View feature in Google Maps has many positive personal, tourism and business uses, Google respects the fact that people may not want imagery they feel is inappropriate featured on the service. Google provides easily accessible tools for flagging sensitive imagery for review and removal.   

For further information, including photographs and broadcast roll, visit our press site:
https://sites.google.com/a/pressatgoogle.com/streetviewza/screenshots-and-media

To learn more about Street View, you can also visit www.google.co.za/streetview

About Google Inc.
Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google's targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. For more information, please visit www.google.com and the Google Africa Blog: google-africa.blogspot.com.  You can also follow Google's Africa team on Twitter: twitter.com/googl


EARLIER PRESS RELEASE
Google to start collecting images in Botswana for Google Maps Street View
06 February 2012, Gaborone

Google today announced that it will begin collecting images in Botswana for the Street View feature in Google Maps. In the coming weeks Google, using Chevrolet Captiva models, will begin driving around Botswana and taking photographs of a wide variety of places, including Gaborone, Francistown, and the country’s world-famous tourist and wildlife destinations, Chobe National Park, Moremi Game Reserve, Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans, Central Kalahari Game Reserve, and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Street View is a hugely popular feature of Google Maps that is already available in more than 30 countries around the world. It allows users to virtually explore and navigate a neighbourhood through panoramic street-level images. It is also available in Google Earth and on Google Maps for Mobile.  Images collected by the cars will be processed and carefully stitched together, a technological process that can take several months. They will be made available at a later date in Street View on Google Maps for Botswana.

In areas where Street View is available, you can access street-level imagery 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 blue highlighted street. You can check out a restaurant before arriving, make travel plans, arrange meeting points, or get a helping hand with geography homework. House-hunters can save time by exploring the neighbourhoods of potential properties in advance, and also by looking up driving directions.

Businesses can also benefit from the Street View technology by embedding Google Maps directly into their site for free, helping them to promote a chain of hotels, B&Bs, or raise awareness about a local library or restaurant.

“We are delighted to be bringing our cutting-edge Street View technology to Botswana”, said Julie Taylor, Head of Communications and Public Affairs for Google, Sub-Saharan Africa.  “We look forward to bringing the many benefits of Street View to our Botswana users and businesses. We also want to help Botswana showcase its extraordinary national parks and wildlife destinations to the rest of the world”.

Commenting on the initiative, the Minister of Environment Wildlife and Tourism, Honourable Onkokame Kitso Mokaila said, “The internet offers substantial opportunities for raising awareness about Botswana on a global stage.  In addition to being practical and educational for people in Botswana, Street View will give international visitors to virtually explore the country, and a chance to carry out tourism research in advance.  We are looking forward to Google bringing us some of their most innovative technology

Street View was first launched on the African continent in South Africa, just before the 2010 FIFA World Cup.  Some highlights from Street View in South Africa include imagery of dozens of cities and towns, the World Cup soccer stadia, heritage sites such as Vilakazi Street in Soweto, Kruger National Park and the Cape Winelands.

To learn more about Street View, visit www.google.co.za/streetview





Editors’ Notes:

Google goes to great lengths to safeguard privacy while allowing all users to benefit from this feature. As with all Street View imagery, Google will apply face-blurring and license plate blurring to all these images to protect people's privacy. Once images are available, people will be able to report images for removal by clicking on 'report a problem' on the bottom left hand corner of the image. From here they complete a short form where they indicate the precise image to be removed

For further information, including photographs and broadcast roll, visit our press site:
https://sites.google.com/a/pressatgoogle.com/streetviewza/screenshots-and-media

To learn more about Street View, you can also visit www.google.co.za/streetview

About Google Inc.
Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google's targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. For more information, please visit www.google.com and the Google Africa Blog: google-africa.blogspot.com.  You can also follow Google's Africa team on Twitter: twitter.com/googleafrica
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