Who's Looking at Your Google View?

Google is bringing stalking to a whole new level. With the recent launch of Google's map feature, Street View, people are getting all shaken up about the real-time views that the Internet will allow of several cities, including New York.

According to an article in today's New York Times, one woman was able to see her own cat sitting in her apartment window. For some, this is too close for comfort and feels like a violation of privacy. In the post 9/11 world, it also raises questions of security as anyone, including potential terrorists, could use the feature to get views of anywhere in the city.

Street View is available in San Francisco, Miami, Denver, Las Vegas, and New York. "Street View only features imagery taken on public property," the company said to the Times. "This imagery is no different from what any person can readily capture or see walking down the street."

The launch of Street View coincides with the New York launch of Microsoft's 3D mapping tool, Windows Live Search Maps. New York is the first city that will be featured in 3D.

While it has yet to be determined the usefulness of these products, aside from the entertainment value, the big technology companies are doing everything they can to one up each other in this realm. It will be interesting to see what comes next. What features do you want to see in the maps and do you think Google has gone too far?

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