Thursday, March 19, 2009

Uk Street View Launched, Regions Functionality

Via Frank at Google Earth Blog I am excited to see Street View for the UK launched. He also has the story on how user photos have now been incorporated in Google Maps. I agree with him that the way photos have been geotagged and sorted for viewing angle is excellent. You have to hand it to Google, this is a great implementation. What photos in streeview represent is complex but the interface is slick and well designed so you can just dive in and make it work.

Street View in GEarth: Its been blogged elsewhere but I think its worth mentioning again: Moving to Google Earth, click the street view layer and you are offered panoramic views around the UK. Want to put a view on your website? Simply click the panorma and you are offered an option to view in Google Maps or embed in your website. Choose 'embed' copy the code offered and voila, an impressive offering as below.

View Larger Map

Itchen bridge view: Two things to note about this view:
  • I use Southampton as a case study in what will happen if the Greenland icecap melts with students at Southampton University. Most of what you see around the bridge will be flooded if the icecap melts.
  • The blanked out sign you can see on the side (blanked out by Google by the way) tells people they can phone the Samaritans on the phone (in the blue box) if they are considering committing suicide. Last time I drove over this bridge someone was being talked down from a suicide attempt.
Regions Functionality: Its becoming one of my pet topics (previous post) but there is an interesting difference between how GEarth and GMaps inform you that there is Streeview content in an area.

Comparison of how streetview content is marked by GEarth (left) and GMaps (right) in Southampton.

The image on the left shows, GEarth photo placemarks around Southampton. As with other content, the regions functionality is used to keep the screen clear, zoom in and more photo placemarks will appear you can view. On the right is the view of Southampton in GMaps if you pick the orange man icon up and begin dragging him (I've highlighted him in orange). Polygon data shows exactly where there is streetview content on the ground. The GMaps technique is more intuiative and its easier to see exactly where the content lies.

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