Google Announces Most Extensive Update to Google Street View Yet

Google Street View car in Toronto, Canada's Chinatown. (Photo: Wikimedia)

Google has announced its biggest update ever to its Street View product, which is increasing its swath of map coverage by more than 250,000 miles of road worldwide.

According to Google’s blog post, this is making Street View “more comprehensive than ever before.” Coverage has increased in Macau, Singapore, Sweden, the U.S., Thailand, Taiwan, Italy, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Canada.

With this update, Google has doubled its number of “special collections,” with some new sites being covered in South Africa, Japan, Spain, France, Brazil and Mexico.

Google Announces Most Extensive Update to Google Street View Yet

Catherine Palace (Image: Google)

Here are some of the places Google is letting you view through its special collections feature:

You can explore our many new places directly in Google Maps, including parks, city centers, castles and tourist attractions like Catherine Palace and Ferapontov monastery in Russia, theChiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taiwan, or Stanley Park in Vancouver. You can even walk through the urban jungle of Singapore’s Fort Canning Park, without ever leaving home.

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On the walls of Elsinore Castle, nestled on the northeastern coast Helsingør in Denmark, Bernardo and Francisco uttered the opening words to William Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy. The castle known locally as Kronborg and immortalised by Hamlet, provided the setting for the Prince of Denmark to play out his personal battle with madness, grief and searing rage. Today we’re also launching images from inside Kronborg and its surroundings, so you can discover for yourself the inspiration behind Shakespeare’s masterpiece.

Google Announces Most Extensive Update to Google Street View Yet

Kronborg Castle (Image: Google)

Although Google over the years has increasingly expanded its Street View service to give users a glimpse into sights they might never see, such as the White House and the Great Barrier Reef, its service is usually frequented by the average user for direction purposes. If your area was not included on Google Street View before, you can check to see if it made the cut with this latest update.

Google’s Street View service has raised privacy concerns in the past for some of the detailed images it captures.

Still, unlike other mapping services, the companies satellite product Google Earth makes an effort to blur sensitive locations, such as military bases. Bing’s maps was recently discovered to show what could have been the SEAL Team 6 training site before they carried out their mission against Osama Bin Laden. Apple’s new mapping product has also come under fire recently for showing too detailed of images of a high-security prison in Turkey and a top-secret base in Taiwan. Both of these recent incidents are raising further questions about censoring maps on the Internet.

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(H/T: Gizmodo)