I’m afraid that I don’t have much sympathy with protesters in the village of Broughton, just outside Milton Keynes, who prevented the Google Streetview car from taking photographs of their village. Their argument is that Google Streetview is an intrusion of privacy and that it facilitates crime. They say that they should have been consulted first.
Well, firstly, anybody can take a photograph of virtually anything from a public road and secondly, I just don’t see how the risk of crime is increased. If a criminal is intent on robbing a house then he can just go around there anyway and have a look.
I think that the benefits of Streetview far outweigh the risks. If I am thinking of visiting a particular place I can have a look before I decide to go, so that’s good from my point of view. Also, if you are disabled you may want to see a friend or relatives house that you can no longer visit yourself. In effect it brings a map to life and I can now visit places that are far away, just to see what they are like, and all from my PC.
In a few days time I need to go to a part of Leeds that I am not familiar with, so I looked on Google Streetview and found where I am going. When I am driving looking for this place I will now recognise the place and the area I am going, so I don’t have to worry about not finding the place.
I can see that maps of the future will be radically different to what they are today. Satellite Navigation will probably show real street images and you will be able to zoom into virtually any part of our planet using your computer.
I find the whole thing fascinating and I don’t mind who wants to look at my road and my house. If it was live data I wouldn’t like that but its not so I don’t have any issues with it.