Google kicks off ?Street View? mapping of PH

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google trekker street view Google Philippines country marketing manager Ryan Morales and Department of Tourism (DOT) sec. Ramon Jimenez Jr. led the unveiling of the Street View cars which will capture panoramic imagery of the country for the first time. Street View, which is being rolled out in the country in cooperation with the DOT, is a popular feature of Google Maps that allows people to virtually explore cities on Google Maps through 360-degree photographs taken at street level. It is available in over 50 countries. Starting in the city of Manila, Google will drive colorful Street View cars equipped with special cameras to collect panoramic imagery of the Philippines. At the press launch, Morales said that while they intend to cover the entire country, they cannot ascertain yet if the task can be accomplished within the year. Once mapped out, Morales said the updating of the images could depend on various factors such as weather and infrastructure as storms and broken bridges could prevent the Google team from getting back to the places they initially captured. For those keen to start virtually touring Manila, Google said it has published a special Street View panoramas of four sites at Intramuros: San Agustin Church, Baluarte de San Diego, Plaza San Luis Complex and Fort Santiago. The 360-degree photos were collected using the Street View Trekker, a wearable backpack camera system that is part of the Street View fleet. Google said it plans to use the Trekker, along with the Street View Trolley, a pushcart camera system, to capture more of the country?s off-road, natural, and indoor destinations. ?Our partnership with Google to bring Street View to the Philippines will allow us to create a digital experience of our landscapes, which we hope will entice more people around the world to learn about our diverse offerings and visit our country,? stated Jimenez. Addressing privacy concerns, Google said it has developed highly sophisticated technology that effectively blurs human faces and license plates of vehicles to render them unidentifiable. In addition, Google said it responsive to requests received from users to further blur any images that feature them ? to submit a request, people can use the ?report a problem? tool available on the bottom right corner of Google Maps. ?The Philippines is a diverse archipelago, with heritage and beauty to be found within and in between every island. By providing people and businesses alike with more useful map information, Street View can also help celebrate Filipino culture and even create lasting economic impact,? said Morales. Google said the images collected for the Philippines, once completed, will be available at maps.google.com.ph. ]]>

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