RTV, GOOGLE EPK - The interactive photo service of the search engine company Google Street View shows the first pictures of German streets on the web. Since Tuesday morning views of the Allgäu Oberstaufen town and some interesting places in German cities, such as the Chancellor's Office and the Victory Column in Berlin or Munich's Royal Square are available to see. There are also pictures of ten German football stadiums.
Oberstaufen had even tried to ensure that Google photographed its streets and squares, and the provide the shots on the net. The Allgäu hope to be advertising for its tourism.
"After Oberstaufen the public streets of the 20 largest cities will be online soon," announced the U.S. group. In the pictures the faces of passers-by and car number plates are obscured.
The photo service, which for some time shows multiple views of the roads of neighboring countries, had caused an uproar in Germany. In the summer, even the federal government was involved in the project. Privacy advocates have criticized the offering as a potential invasion of privacy. Some 250,000 people have already lodged an objection against publication of pictures of their houses by the service. Also few houses have been deleted in Oberstaufen.
Google is amassing data and has repeatedly clashed with authorities worldwide. Czech Republic stopped the company in September from collecting more data for its Street View site. In South Korea, the police raided a Google office on suspicion of having illegally recorded private user data from wireless networks. Even in Canada, the Americans had applied the data protection for the same reason against it. During the construction of Street View in Germany Google also secretly collected data from wireless networks.
Despite the growing opposition to the Google offering, the Finnish mobile phone company Nokia has announced to launch a similar with more detailed images.