The technology used in maps has evolved a lot in recent years. From the flat graphic imagery, we are now seeing rich 3D satellite imagery to give us a better idea of what a place looks like, especially places we have not been to before.
Then came the next phase in mapping technology when Google introduced Street View in 2008, providing users with an interactive and panoramic view of different neighborhoods around the world.
After making it available in different countries around the world over the years, finally Google has managed to make Street View officially available in the country which a launch held recently. Now Filipinos like the Urban Roamer can roam almost the entire metropolis and other parts of the country virtually without having to pay for expensive transportation to get there.
Google Street View employs the most advanced technology developed in-house by Google to capture the most detailed imagery available from the cameras to the laser scanners, to the vehicles used to capture extensive 360 degree street views.
At the same time, Google has stressed how important privacy and security is to them, so as detailed as the images used on Street View are, some have been purposely left blurred like vehicle plate information and other sensitive data that may have been captured by the cameras. Also as part of this privacy and security measure, certain areas like government and military complexes, private villages and private complexes are not covered by Street View.
Being a self-confessed and self-proclaimed Urban Roamer, I’ll have to say this about Google Street View….I FRIGGIN’ LOVE IT! I feel it is a technology specially made for me and others who enjoy the technology of modern navigation and mapping. We no longer have to second guess what a certain area looks like, no longer having just graphic traditional maps and satellite imagery that doesn’t help much.
With that said, there are some things that need improve, well just one thing basically and that is MORE COVERAGE.
I do not just mean coverage in cities and towns like Cebu and Davao where Google Street View has not covered yet. I also mean more coverage in areas that have extensive coverage, like in Metro Manila in particular. To be specific, while I respect privacy and security matters, I believe there should be a Google Street View for areas like the campuses of University of Santo Tomas, Ateneo de Manila University, and Far Eastern University; McKinley Road; commercial and business areas like Legazpi Village, Rockwell Center, Eastwood City, and McKinley Hill, not to mention the biggest oversight of them all, Bonifacio Global City itself. And that is just some that I’ve encountered so far.
But for the most part, the Urban Roamer loves Google Street View still as a helpful tool and in providing a better navigational experience. I just hope that it gets to cover more areas in the future, especially the above-mentioned places for a more comprehensive and extensive view of the city anyone can enjoy visiting, even if virtually.
To get the Google Street View experience, on your desktop browser, go to Google Maps and drag the figure on the bottom right to the area you wish to explore. The areas in blue are the ones with Street View. If on your iOS or Android phone, just tap on the area you wish to explore and if there is Street View option, there will be an image on the lower left or an option in the bottom menu for you to access it. Make sure you have the Street View app downloaded on your phone before using it.