We're hiring

We love digital - Call
03332 207 677
and say hello - Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm

Call 03332 207 677

Lucy Griffiths

Street View: A Search Too Far?

20th Apr 2009 News, Industry News 2 minutes to read

Google’s Street View has been around since 2007, but was only recently launched in the United Kingdom. It is an extension of the Google Earth and Google Maps tools that allows users to have panoramic street level views of areas all across the country. Street View has been met with a mixture of wonder and suspicion, is it a fabulous and invaluable mapping tool, a bit of fun or an invasion of privacy with sinister purpose and potential?

Within only a few days, the UK version of Google Street View was attracting considerable criticism and condemnation. But were the villagers of Broughton in Buckinghamshire right to refuse one of the Google Street View cars access to their village? Surely it’s not really used to ‘facilitate crime’ or ‘invade privacy’ as they have expressed? It may be an overreaction; but Downing Street and the Police and Army in Northern Ireland have all demanded images removed from Street View.

Google Street View is breaking no laws; the face and car registration plate blurring technology has allowed Street View to be used by Google legally in the United Kingdom without having to comply with Data Protection law. Google defended its service by claiming that it is nothing more than what people see with their eyes every day. It also highlighted that it had created accessible ways of ‘flagging inappropriate or sensitive imagery for removal.’ It is difficult to see how a static view of anywhere could have too many criminal uses. But privacy activists counter-claim that the tool will eventually lead to someone losing their job, getting hurt or ending their marriage, and on that day, there will be no recourse against Google’s omni-present permission-less intrusion.

But Google don’t seem too concerned; there are many benefits to having a three dimensional aspect to their Street View web tool. Now if you are going somewhere unfamiliar, not only can you map out the route on Google Maps, but you can also look at the place that you are going to, before you go there.

Of course, there are many future business uses, someone trying to find your business will now not only be able to plan their route but also see what your business looks like before they arrive. Google have begun to integrate their search technology with Street View, so that businesses have a new way to advertise their services and market themselves online. Now someone searching for businesses in their local area will be able to see exactly where that business is, if they choose to shop with you online or visit you in person, they have a direct connection to your business, through the imagery. This also further enhances a company’s credibility because seeing the business is a good way to feel comfortable about buying from that business.

Inevitably, Google built this new toy at great expense for one reason, to further enhance their own business opportunities and whilst some people complain about it, the reality is that innovation is hardly ever welcome until we see a purpose for it ourselves. If it doesn’t serve a purpose, if it doesn’t make revenue for Google and for the companies that use Google to generate business, it will become obsolete. The more successful it becomes, the more carefully the world will have to pay attention to how it is used.

Share this post

Lucy Griffiths
About the author

Lucy Griffiths

Lucy is an Internet Search Specialist focusing and working with clients on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) strategies.

What do you think?

  • aspect-ratio Koozai - New Offices in Old Street, London
    Cat Birch

    We’ve Expanded Into Bigger And Better Offices In London

    We continue to go from strength to strength here at Koozai, and we are very proud to announce that our London branch has expanded into even bigger and better offices.

    Cat Birch
    9th Feb 2017
  • aspect-ratio Google Tag Manager
    Emma North

    An SEO’s Guide to Planning Google Tag Manager Migration

    Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a powerful tool and when properly understood and implemented, can be an SEO’s best friend.

    However, before you can actually begin a migration to GTM, you need to take some key steps to ensure everything goes to plan.


    Emma North
    2nd Feb 2017

Digital Ideas Monthly

Sign up now and get our free monthly email. It’s filled with our favourite pieces of the news from the industry, SEO, PPC, Social Media and more. And, don’t forget - it’s free, so why haven’t you signed up already?