Thursday, October 9, 2008

Google Street View Coming to Taipei?

I was riding my scooter in YongHe today when I spotted a very odd-looking van. It had a rack mounted on the top with about 10 CCTV cameras facing in every direction.

I thought about what the use could be. Advertising? Traffic? News? I just couldn't figure out why the cameras would be facing in all directions.

Then it occurred to me that it might be a Google van!

Google, as some of you may know, has been taking pictures in 360 degrees of streets and intersections in many big cities. They are documented on Google Street View's wiki page:

google street view wiki

Could Google be planning to Street View Taipei next? I certainly hope so as it could have many applications and implications. First, it would help people find places without having to read Chinese that is through matching pictures. That's a plus for newbies to Taipei. A further development could be that Google is planning to offer Street View of Taiwanese cities on a phone models in Taiwan. Could the gPhone in Taipei be far behind?

Well, if anyone else has seen the van I describe, I sure would love to know your impressions or take. BTW, the pictures I googled are believed to be the Street View van in the US. The van I saw had all the cameras exposed on the roof on a rack. Seen it?

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