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The Guardian today reports that Google Street View has been cleared as safe to launch in the UK.

Sightings of the conspicuous cars began last month, prompting the country’s crappest newspaper to devote the front page to scare-mongering of what they called a “burglar’s charter” of photographing EVERY door in Britain. The horror!

Street View Car in Edinburgh
The Street View car navigates roadworks in Edinburgh (picture from GazH on Flickr)

Of course, this was just silly: a burglar could discover a whole lot more about how to go about stealing your plasma by getting off the internet and actually walking down the street. The only advantage street view will add is that he won’t get lost on the way.

Luckily, the Information Commissioner’s Office were not swayed but the Daily Mail’s nonsense and ruled that:

“We are satisfied that Google is putting in place adequate safeguards to avoid any risk to the privacy or safety of individuals”.

Quite right. Google are staying quiet about exactly when the service will launch, but the camera has been spotted in major cities all over the country, including London, Cambridge and Edinburgh.

Minimap Sidebar for Firefox

February 20th, 2008

Tony Farndon’s fantastic Minimap sidebar has quite rightly won a grand prize in the Extend Firefox 2 contest.

minimap.jpg

Tony presented the plugin (originally as a Flock extension) during last year’s Refresh Edinburgh event, and we were very honoured to see that he’d even built in support for Google Sightseeing sights to be easily loaded into the map.

Since then he’s ported it to a Firefox extension and added even more features. I’ve been using it for months and it got to the point where I’d forgotten it wasn’t a standard part of Firefox (which may explain why I took so long to write this post…)

You can install the plugin from its homepage.

Last night James (the Oxford branch of Google Sightseeing) did a very quick, but thoroughly entertaining, presentation about Google Sightseeing at this month’s Oxford Geek night. You can watch the 5 minute video of his Micro Presentation in mp4 format directly via this link.

Google Sightseeing seeks writers

November 22nd, 2007

We’ve recently been toying with the idea of hiring one or more staff writers for Google Sightseeing, so we’re asking around to see if anybody is up for the job.

We’re looking for someone who has a genuine interest in the subjects we write about on the site, who is interested in researching and writing one or two quality posts a week, which we’d expect to take about 2-4 hours of your time. Obviously you’ll have excellent written English skills, and we’d especially like to talk to you if you’re also a fluent writer in any language other than English.

Is this something anyone would be interested in doing? We’re not looking for any commitments right now, we’d just like to know if you’re interested. Rather than comment here please send an email to james at this current domain name or use the GSS Contact form.

452nd!

November 9th, 2007

That’s right, Google Sightseeing is the 452nd most popular blog in the world! Well, according to those fine ladies and gents over at Bloglines anyway.

Thanks to everyone who reads us via bloglines, we appreciate every last one of you :)

Google Sightseeing on TV

August 7th, 2007

Doug Delony contacted us at GGSS to let us know that he had featured Google Sightseeing as ‘Website of the Day’ for his “My Tech Guy” spot on Houston’s Fox 26 channel this Monday!

We think the article is great, so be sure and check out the clip. :D

Cheers Doug!