Google Street View faces another hiccup: Govt rejects mapping giant's proposal

Saul Franklin
March 30, 2018

Google Street View, the application which allows users to explore cities and tourist spots through 360-degree panoramic and street-level imagery, recently approached the government with a proposal to apply the same concept to Indian tourist spots.

This isn't the first time Google has face severe opposition from the government over street view.

Introduced in 2007 in the US, Street View uses bikes and cars fitted with cameras to collect street-level 3D imagery.

The company mentions that more than one billion people use Google Maps to discover new places and get things done.

Minister of State for Home Affairs, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir announced that India had rejected the proposal by Google to launch the "Street View" feature in India.

In 2014, Google initiated an experiment with the consent of Indian government, wherein archaeological spots and historical monuments were to be mapped online using Google Street View.

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"The government has not agreed to the proposal", the Union Minister said in a written reply to a question. It started collecting street-level images in Bangalore in 2011 but that was quickly stopped by local authorities on the grounds of security.

Officials said the objections stemmed from the fact that the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai had involved photographic reconnaissance of targets by Pakistani-American David Coleman Headley. Google had then launched the Street View for some major showplaces like Varanasi river bank, Mysore Palace, Nalanda University, Chinnaswamy stadium, Thanjavur temple along with the Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar and Red Fort. Initially, India permitted the application of Google for a few locations. A more recent attack on the Pathankot airbase previous year was also plotted out after similar photographic recce.

Though Ahir did not give a specific reason for the decision, Reuters quoted sources as saying that the Defence Ministry had raised security concerns over the Google project.

In addition to the above new security features, Google has also partnered with several companies, including RackSpace, Dome9, and RedLock, in order to provide additional security features to Google Cloud Platform customers, including PCI compliance testing and managed security among other features. It can also help tourists who can come to the country with some surety.

Headquartered in Mumbai, India, Genesys operates seven geospatial production and software development centres in India.

It website says it is "the first company to capture 360 degree panoramic data and create a visual database for 50 cities in India".

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