The evolution of Google Maps' Street View in the UK has been a curiously slow since its roll out back in early 2009, but today we finally get the full fat edition.
As of now Google has greatly extended Street View so that it covers 95 per cent of homes across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. This equates to a whopping 210,000 extra miles - all available with 360 degree views. Up until now Street View had only been available in selected major cities such as Birmingham, Edinburgh, London and Manchester.
So are we due for another wave of complaints and tabloid fodder about privacy invasion? Probably, after all back in 2009 such stories were commonplace with famed incidents such as capturing drunken behaviour and the ridiculous human chain residents of Broughton formed in Buckinghamshire to stop Google Street View cars from entering the village. Dear Broughton if you don't wish to have your village shown you can simply have it removed via Google Maps itself. *sigh*
All in all, a good thing methinks. Then again, I just found my mum captured by the new expanded Street View so I'm irrationally excited!
In related Google Maps news it has also been announced that bike routes will soon accompany car, walking and public transport routes. As with most things Google Maps, the roll out starts in the US with 150 cities covered to show cyclist-friendly directions, though - perhaps strangely - no date has been put on its inclusion on smartphone platforms (surely the most useful) or a wider European release.
PS - yes, I can't resist that goofy original Street View launch video!