Google brings ‘Street View’ to India

Company gets clearence after previous two attempts were turned down on the basis of security concerns

Updated - July 28, 2022 11:36 am IST

Published - July 27, 2022 10:26 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The India launch marks the first time in the world that Street View is being brought to life completely by local partners. File

The India launch marks the first time in the world that Street View is being brought to life completely by local partners. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Google on Wednesday announced the launch of its popular ‘Street View’ feature in India – after failing to bring the experience to India at least twice in the past decade following security concerns raised by government agencies over collection of data.

For the launch this time, Google has partnered with two Indian firms – mapping solutions provider Genesys International and Tech Mahindra. As per the National Geospatial Policy, 2021, local companies can collect such data and foreign firms can license the data from Indian entities to serve their customers in the country.

The India launch marks the first time in the world that Street View, which allows users to view panoramic and street-level 360 degree views of a particular place, is being brought to life completely by local partners.

Starting today, Street View will be available on Google Maps with fresh imagery licensed from local partners covering over 1,50,000 km across ten cities in India, including Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Nashik, Vadodara, Ahmednagar, and Amritsar.

Google, Genesys International, and Tech Mahindra plan to expand this to more than 50 cities by the end of 2022, and cover a little under one million unique kms over the 18-24 months.

“The new 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 and do 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,” Miriam Karthika Daniel, VP - Google Maps Experiences, told reporters.

To launch Street View, users need to open Google Maps, zoom into a road in any of the target cities, and tap the area they want to view. “Street View will help people navigate and explore new corners of the country and the world in a more visual and accurate way, enabling them to fully experience what it’s like to be in these places, right from their phone or computer,” the company said.

It added that Street View APIs will also be available to local developers enabling them to deliver richer mapping experiences in their services.

The company also announced partnerships with local traffic authorities to help improve road safety and reduce traffic congestion. Google Maps will now show speed limits data shared by the traffic authorities, starting with Bengaluru.

The company has also partnered with traffic authorities and aggregators across eight cities in India, including Delhi, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Gurgaon, Bangalore, and Agra, to help with information related to congestion zones, road closures etc.

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