Google Street View 15 years, Dutch villages are still missing

Street View was launched in 2007. Thanks to this service, it is possible to take a look anywhere in the world from your computer. These images are now available in 220 countries and mapped to almost the entire world.

new pictures

In honor of the 15th anniversary, Google will be restoring beautiful places. “Like Circuit Zandvoort: it hasn’t been updated in twelve years. The Netherlands is changing fast. We want to keep the images up to date,” Google spokesperson Rashid Feng told EditieNL.

People had to get used to Street View at first, says Finge. “People thought these Google folks don’t really track. They’re going to drive cars around the world. They thought that was a very strange idea, until it became clear.”

People also found it interesting to see the Street View car driving around at first. “A lot of people waved intentionally. That’s why the Street View drivers later received training on how to deal with the people in the picture. And there was a requirement to darken people.”

mixed reactions

Thijs Hofmans, a journalist for the tech platform Tweakers, recalls that the reactions were very mixed. “On the other hand, people thought it was very unique. It suddenly brought the world a lot closer. And it was also useful: if people were pressured to apply for a job, for example, they could already know in advance what building they had to go to. It was Huge revolution.”

But at the same time, people also found it intimidating. “The fact that everyone could see your house was a fine thing. People started looking for ways to prevent others from looking for their place of residence. And you could order your house or car to be blacked out. Then your house would go gray if the apartment dweller didn’t want to record their address, the apartment was It’s all unclear.”

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Today is acceptable. “Also because Google isn’t the only one recording all of this. After Google, Microsoft has followed Bing and Apple also has its own variant.”

Useful for navigation

Street View has also become important to other Google functions, says Google spokesperson Finge. “For example, for maps. If an area is taken over by Street View, we can also use AI to make Google Maps more useful. If Street View cars see exactly where zebra intersections and traffic lights are, we can, for example, By processing that on the base map of the maps. So the maps get a lot more detail.”

Cars in certain areas also have an air quality gauge. “That way you can tell the air quality in those areas.”

blind spots

But the places are still not specified. For example, parts of Schouwen-Duiveland and Zak van Zuid-Beveland in Zeeland are considered a “blind spot”. Not many streets were recorded there, and the villages of Ouwerkerk and Sirjansland were never found.

According to a Google Finge spokesperson, this is a “disturbing coincidence”. “It could be because it rained when we started shooting, and there were no cars available or it just didn’t work out on schedule. In such a case it’s just bad luck.” It may also relate to the fact that it is not a densely populated area. “More photos are taken in crowded places because they are being requested more often.”

But there is hope in these areas, too. “We want to continue to expand coverage and reduce exclusions.”

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