Google Street View covers 50 countries, pushes large update
Google has added Street View coverage to areas of Hungary and Lesotho. Users of Google Maps can now explore the countries in Europe and Africa, making the total count of countries covered by Street View now 50. A Google blog claimed it as the largest single update of Street View imagery, which includes updates for nearly 350,000 miles of roads across 14 countries.
Street View Wi-Fi data collection issue strikes again
Google has been fined 145,000 euros ($189,230) by a government regulator in Germany for collecting data from Wi-Fi connections in the country. The fine stems from when the company's Street View cars were in operation between 2008 and 2010, inadvertently collecting data packets from individuals and businesses as the fleet drove around the country.
Four mountains shown in Google Maps service
Google has updated Street View to include a number of locations found on mountains. Areas of Aconcagua in South America, Mount Elbrus in Europe, Kilimanjaro in Africa, and Everest Base Camp in Asia have been included, allowing visitors of the Google Maps service to explore four of the peaks from the group known as the Seven Summits.
National data protection advertisement campaign also agreed upon
Google has agreed to settle a lawsuit concerning its collection of data from unsecured Wi-Fi networks across the US. The search company has agreed to secure and destroy data collected from hotspots when it was taking images for Street View between 2008 and March 2010, as well as to launch an employee training program and pay a $7 million fine.
Google Trekker cameras are now Street Viewing the Grand Canyon
Google has taken its Street View effort to the depths and edges of the Grand Canyon, letting users view close up and personal photos of the natural wonder. But cars, trikes, not snowmobiles could be used for this undertaking, so Google outfitted its Street View team members with Trekker backpacks that include 360-degree view cameras. The cameras are largely autonomous, but the wearers can control them thanks to a connected Android smartphone, Google wrote.
Tour shows how Google manages servers, data
Google has put a tour of one of its data centers online. The search engine's tour, entitled Where the Internet lives, shows how it manages the server farms hosting data for its numerous services, in an effort to demonstrate the company's efficiency in running such a location, as well as the lengths it goes towards securing its users data.
Google delivers huge update to Street View
Google has launched its biggest ever update for Street View for Google Maps. The new update doubles the number of special collections and gives a refreshed, updated view of over 250,000 miles of road around the globe. Street View coverage has also been extended in countries including, the U.S, Macau, Singapore, Sweden,T hailand, Taiwan, Italy, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Canada.
Those on iOS 6 can use Google Maps as web app with ease
While users wait for cartological improvements in Apple's new Maps service, they can still use all -- and then some -- of the functionality of the "old" Google-based Maps app by simply employing an iOS technology: visit the Google Maps website and add it as a "web app" to the home screen. David Pogue, a columnist for The New York Times, reports that Google plans to add Street View technology in two weeks' time. Apple has issued a statement noting that its own Maps is a first release and that it will improve, but is also scrambling to correct outdated maps and other errors.
Claims largest Street View collection at 6,000 images
Google has added a tour of the Kennedy Space Center to its Google Maps Street View Gallery collection. NASA worked with Google to show off the US launch site as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, for which the search giant has created its largest special collection of Street View imagery to date, creating approximately 6,000 panoramic views of the complex.
Search giant failed to adhere to UK order
Google admitted to Britain's Information Commissioner's Office that it has not yet deleted all of the data the company's Street View cars collected in Britain and more than 30 other countries. Reuters carries a report that the search giant is in the middle of efforts to notify other governments of its retention of the Street View data.
Shackleton and Scott huts viewable in internal panoramas
Google has expanded its World Wonders Project to include various locations in Antarctica. Powered by Street View, the number of locations viewable on the continent has increased to include panoramic shots of iconic and important places, including both internal and external shots of Shackleton's Hut, Scott's Hut, and the Ceremonial South Pole itself.
Navigon adds Google Street View to iOS navigation app
Navigon has updated its iOS navigation app to version 2.1 ($30, iTunes) adding Google Street View, which will be dropped from Apples Maps app in its forthcoming iOS 6 release. To celebrate the update, the Navigon app can be had for savings as much as $20 of its normal $50 price depending on the version chosen. In-app purchases including FreshMaps USA can be had for as low as $15, a saving of $25 off the normal asking price.
Investigation reopened amid concerns
UK authorities have reopened their investigation surrounding Google's Street View data-collection program, following concerns that the search giant may not have been forthcoming in its previous statements. Information Commissioner's Office enforcement chief Steve Eckersley has asked the company to provide responses to fresh questions related to the debacle, which the agency previously criticized without imposing any punishment.
Street view goes off-road, improved accuracy for Google Maps
Google today revealed an array of new features and improvements for Google Maps. In addition to the recently announced offline maps for Android, an update on the Official Google Blog brings news that Google Maps' Street View will add views of areas inaccessible from the road. Google is also expanding its user-editable Map Maker feature and rolling out 3D models of major metropolitan areas in Google Earth.
Google Street View gaffe result of lack of checks
Google has given an advance copy of the FCC's report on its Street View Wi-Fi scraping incident. Details posted by the LA Times confirmed Google's initial story of an engineer writing code that collected data wholesale, but revealed a lack of attention that let the code get on Street View cars. The engineer, whose name was censored, told two coworkers and even gave the team a document in October 2006 that detailed what he did, but none of those monitoring the document or the code claimed to have known what it collected.
Privacy group files Freedom of Information request
Thursday, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the unredacted FCC report on Google's Street View. Epic is also requesting any related documents used in the investigation pertinent to the 25-page, heavily-censored report that was released last week. By Google's own admission, between 2008 and 2010 their street mapping vans collected names, telephone numbers, passwords, email, medical records, media files, and other information from open and unsecure Wi-Fi routers.
House's Markey wants Congress to hunt Google
Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey declared late Tuesday that he wanted further action against Google over its scraping Wi-Fi data with Street View cars. He was unhappy with the FCC decision, which found no reason for action over the actual data intercepts and fined Google only for allegedly obstructing the investigation. The veteran politician demanded that Congress "immediately" hold a hearing.
FCC wants light penalty on Street View error
The FCC late Friday put forward a proposal for a $25,000 fine for Google's refusal to hand over Street View Wi-Fi data. Officials accused Google of having "deliberately impeded and delayed" an investigation into what information its Street View cars had collected from Wi-Fi hotspots. Among the obstacles was a refusal on Fifth Amendment grounds to testify by the engineer whose data scraping code was accidentally included on each car.
Google Maps now shows real-world destination times
Google Maps on Thursday both got a key feature back and added a new layer of security. After losing traffic-based estimates for some time, Maps can once again indicate the likely actual travel time based on the most recent estimates of route congestion. The gesture can show when an alternate route, mass transit, or a taxi might be faster.
Google Street View comes to Albula-Bernina line
Google has now mounted its Street View trike onto the front of a Rhaetian Railways train to capture nearly 76 miles of the Albula-Bernina line in Switzerland. Located in the Swiss Alps, the UNESCO World Heritage site offers breathtaking views of lakes, snow-capped mountains, and forests. The images are now available on Google Maps and in a devoted gallery.
PanoMap sues Apple, Google over Street View patent
Apple and Google are both named as defendants in a new patent lawsuit initiated by Florida-based PanoMap Technologies. In contention is a patent for an "interactive system for displaying detailed view and direction in panoramic images." PanoMap wants three times the damages from both giants because they have allegedly knew about the patent but ignored it. Proof of their knowledge is in Apple's visiting of a website in 2007 that contained the patent while Google reportedly cited it in a patent application of its own, PanoMap claims.
Gmail refresh detailed, parks get Street View
Google made two big revisions to its web pages on Tuesday. Its largest was an overhaul of Gmail's web interface and the other is bringing Street View functionality to public parks. The changes in Gmail bring the new layout common to all Google sites. The interface size and density of the elements will also automatically resize depending on what it's being viewed from, whether it’s a PC, tablet or smartphone, with a manual override for those that want it.
Pilot program continues to expand
Google is reportedly expanding its Street View content to include interior images from businesses and stores. Anyone browsing Street View can take a virtual walk around the public areas in businesses that choose to participate in the program. The search giant has also worked with some businesses to add additional content, such as photos of food at restaurants.
Google Street View now known to have seen devices
Google's Street View Wi-Fi gear caught the locations of individual devices before it was pulled back, insiders uncovered Monday. Confirming claims by French officials, CNET heard that the unintentional Wi-Fi scans had picked up the locations and MAC addresses of smartphones, computers, and individual routers.
Small Louisiana firm claims to have patents
Lake Charles, Louisiana-based Transcenic filed a complaint Friday in the Federal Delaware District Court claiming that Google, Microsoft and AOL (via MapQuest) have infringed on its patents. At issue are street perspective views that the companies use on their mapping websites. Transcenic is looking for unspecified, but tripled damages.
Will appeal to Swiss high court to overturn ruling
In March, a Swiss court ruled that Google must blur out all faces and license plates that were captured in Google's Street View application. Today, Google advised it would appeal the decision to Switzerland's highest court. If the court does not overturn the lower court's decision, Google threatened that it would pull Street View out of the Swiss market.
Commission satisfied with strategy change
The Federal Trade Commission has reportedly completed its investigation surrounding data collections from Google's Street View fleet. In a letter sent to the search giant, the agency announced an official end to the inquiry and notified the company that it would not be penalized. Across the Atlantic, however, France's privacy protection authority, the CNIL, decided to hit the company with a €100,000 (~$142,000 USD) fine.
CT attorney general threatens further action
Google faces new threats of legal action in the Street View Wi-Fi debacle, after the search giant refused to hand over the collected data to Connecticut authorities. The Department of Consumer Protection last week hit the company with a civil investigative demand for the data, however Google let the Friday deadline pass without submitting to the order.
FCC checking possible Google Street View
The FCC has launched an investigation that could accuse Google of violating federal law through its unintentional Wi-Fi scraping with Street View cars, an official said Wednesday. The hunt was in response to calls by advocates at the Electronic Privacy Information Center to check whether the scanning broke eavesdropping laws. If found to be intentional, the harvested data could lead to fines of up to $50,000 for each identified snooping instance, the WSJ noted.
Company under fire once again
Just one day after Google was found to be in violation of UK regulations for its Street View data collection methods, the company is now under fire in Germany for failing to blur images that should be hidden. The Street View feature, which just launched in Germany, was supposed to prevent users from viewing properties that owners had opted out of the program.
No fine will be imposed
Britain's Information Commissioner has ruled that Google violated UK regulations when the search giant collected Wi-Fi data while canvassing the country to expand Street View imagery. Despite the ruling, Google does not face a fine unless it repeats such actions or fails to comply with an audit of its data protection methods.
Google Street View incident pushes tighter privacy
Google today warned that its accidental collection of Wi-Fi data with Street View cars collected more than it thought and was triggering a privacy overhaul. Senior Engineering and Research VP Alan Eustace admitted that investigations in Europe and elsewhere contained whole e-mail messages, web addresses and in some cases passwords. Google will delete the information as soon as it's legally cleared, the executive said.
Korea concerned Google Street View a violation
Google’s Seoul office has been subjected to a police raid by South Korean authorities. The latest concerns again center around Google’s unintentional data collection during its Street View mapping its and storage practices for potentially sensitive personal information. Officials were worried that Street View, which has yet to officially launch in the country, might collect information from viewers.
UK's ICO says Google Street View not a risk
The UK's Information Commissioner Office on Friday found that Google's accidental Wi-Fi snooping didn't collect dangerous amounts of information. An investigation of some data saved by Google showed no "significant" levels of data that would compromise privacy or security. ICO still characterized the collection itself as "wrong" but said there was no immediate evidence of broken laws from the data itself.
Google to resume limited Street View mapping
Google let the public know on Thursday that its grounded fleet of Street View collecting vehicles is resuming mapping on a limited basis. The May stoppage was due to the software giant accidentally collecting Wi-Fi data rather than just street-level images of roads and their surroundings. The vehicles are made lighter, as their Wi-Fi scanning equipment was removed. At the same time, independent security experts Stroz Friedberg have ensured Wi-Fi related software was likewise removed from the vehicles.
FTC and DoJ said to be mulling inquiries
Representatives Joe Barton and Edward Markey have asked the FTC to begin a formal inquiry into Google's Street View practices. The lawmakers are seeking answers related to Google's collection of Wi-Fi data and other personal information as the company's vehicles roamed the country taking pictures for the Street View database.
iPhone 2.2 beta report
Apple is testing new iPhone software features that bring Street Views, public transit options, and location sharing features, according to a new report on a beta version of the software. According to iPhoneYap, a site dedicated to the iPhone, a beta of the next iPhone Software was released to developers on Friday. Screenshots of the release, version 2.2 beta 2, show that the Maps application now offers an additional feature: public transit directions. According to the screenshots and report, users can choose from one of three icons while in directions mode: car, public transit, and walking (from right to left) -- all of which are centered at the top of screen.