Google Street View is finally being relaunched in India, six years after it was banned in the country due to security concerns. Street View offers users a 360-degree view of various geographic locations, allowing them to virtually explore different regions.
Google Street View Coming To These Indian Cities
Google has partnered with India-based mapping company Genesys and IT firm Tech Mahindra to bring back Street View. The service is now live in the following cities—Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai, Nashik, Vadodara, Ahmednagar, and Amritsar. The search giant plans to release the feature to 50 cities in the country by the end of this year.
Here’s Why Google Street View Was Banned In India
Back in 2016, the Indian government raised concerns over Google gathering images for Street View as it could reveal the locations of sensitive military installations. According to media reports, the government was afraid that the service could be used for terror attacks.
India’s New Geospatial Policy Brings Back Street View
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Google stated that India’s new geospatial policy allowed Street View to make a comeback in the country. Miriam Karthika Daniel, VP of Maps Experiences at Google, said, “The geospatial policy allows local entities to do the data collection at a certain level of fidelity. So, our partners here, they configure the cameras, they go into the data collection. They own the data that they collect, but then they license it to entities like Google, so we can actually integrate it and offer services like Google Maps.”
Google executives added that this is the first time that the search giant has teamed up with third-party companies for Street View. Daniel added, “Starting today, Street View will be available on Google Maps with fresh imagery intensity in India that is covering 150,000 kilometers of roads that’s actually been ingested into Google Maps.”
Google will also be joining hands with local authorities to curb traffic congestion. The company will partner with aggregators and traffic authorities in Delhi, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Bangalore, and Agra to offer details on accidents and road closures.
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