Google takes Street View Mapping off-road
Google has announced the launch of the Google Tricycle. As the Google Street cars whiz through the larger roads of cities and towns around the world capturing 360 degree images of the area, there are some places they just can't reach. This is where the Google Tricycle will come in handy: it can fit down those smaller streets around the towns and can even take Street View off-road!
Google launched their Street View imagery in the UK in March 2009 amid a storm of controversy. However, they were not the first. <a href="http://www.earthware.co.uk" target="_blank">Earthware</a> introduced the first customised <a href="http://www.novaloca.com/property-search-results/default.aspx?page=1&propertytypes=1,2,3,4,5,6&saletypes=1,2&status=1&sizefrom=1&sizeto=500000%2b&sizetype=2&location=London,%20Greater%20London&distance=20&map=True">Street Level View</a> four months earlier in November 2008 for <a href="http://www.novaloca.com">commercial property listings</a> website, Novaloca.com.
One critisim of the Google Street View offering was it's lack of coverage of minor roads. The Google trike will aim to solve this. It is currently being tested in Genoa and is expected to hit the UK shores this summer. In partnership with Visit Britain, the public will be able to vote for three landmarks they would like to see captured. Justin Reid of Visit Britain said, "the new trike will enable us to showcase even more of Britain’s wonderful destinations and we look forward to receiving some great ideas from the public".
The images taken by the trike will be stitched together to form a 360 tour of the location and be embedded in the existing Google Maps.
However, the Google trike is not the only technology available to develop this sort of imagery. With <a href="http://http://www.earthware.co.uk/blog/index.php/2009/05/as-microsoft-makes-photosynth-commercial-earthware-implements-property-photosynths-embedded-in-virtual-earth-maps-in-london-property-website" target="_blank">Microsoft's Photosynth</a> technology you can turn your digital images of a route, location or object into a 3 dimensional, navigatable image. Alternatively, <a href="http://www.seety.co.uk" target="_blank">Seety</a>, the company behind the Street Level View imagery Earthware embedded in <a href="http://www.novaloca.com" target="_blank">NovaLoca.com</a> are offering their services for bespoke work. So if you can't wait for the Google trike to make it to your favourite location there are a number of other options open to you.
If you could like to hear more about how Google Maps or Microsoft Virtual Earth can help your business then <a href="http://www.earthware.co.uk/contact-earthware.aspx">contact Earthware</a>.