Google all set to launch India Street View

03 Oct 2015


Internet giant Google has started exploring Indian cities, tourist spots, hills and rivers ahead of launching its Street View apps that would allow people across the world to see Indian streets even before setting foot in the country.

The California-based company looks all set to get regulatory clearances from the home ministry to launch its 360 degree video-like mapping service in India four years after the company was denied permission due to objections raised by the IT and R&D institutions in and around Bengaluru.

Google was to launch its Street View app way back in 2011 but was denied permission after BJP MLA B N Vijayakumar from Bengaluru raised objections, terming it a serious security threat to the IT industry and establishments such as ISRO and HAL.

Initially, Google will be covering cities, tourists spots, hills and rivers through 360-degree, panoramic and street-level imagery as the government's permission comes with certain riders.

Google is expected to be barred from filming sensitive locations like defence installations, nuclear sites and some other high-value spots.

A formal communication is likely to be conveyed to the Google after detailed deliberations by the top government officials said.

While Google's Street View that gives 360-degree panoramic 3D imagery of various locations and posted online has been extensively used in the United States, Canada and many European countries, its applications in India have been limited so far.

This service is already available in countries such as the US, Japan and South Korea and the new Google CEO Sundar Pichai is reported to have impressed on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the benefits of the app for the Indian government.

Reports, meanwhile, said Hyderabad could be among the first few cities to make the Street View available as the Telangana government has already expressed its interest and had recently met Google executives.
Google has been offering Street View in a limited way in the country through a partnership with the Archaeological Survey of India,  with imagerie for 100 monuments, including Taj Mahal and Khajuraho in 2013.

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