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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  • Brad

    Fast Company, you should be ashamed of this article.

    Street View is not an updated survaillance camera. It is a one-time view. Yeah, I get it that it sounds kinda big-brother-ish. But a simple analysis of the reality shows that it is not at all. FC - you should be bringing us the reality, not the scare-mongering sensationalism a la Fox News.

    Speaking of which, what's up with the "It can be used by terrorists" claim. Are you kidding? If a terrorist wants to bomb a location, he'll go and scout that location. What does Street View do to help him?

    I expect more from you, FC.

  • Morten

    This must be the worst researched article ever!
    First of all, it's not even close to being real-time! Secondly New York is FAR from the first 3D city featured on Microsoft Live Maps.

  • Mark Bowness

    These are interesting developments and it will certainly be interesting to see what developments come out of these and what they could be used for. I am sure a heap of great mash-ups will come from this too!

    Mark Bowness

  • Adult Dating Dr

    Terrorists, get real, the only real terrorists have much better satellites (US Government)

    Terrorism is a scare mongering tactic, why can't we have one advancement in technology that isn't said to help terrorists?