Ireland’s version of Google’s Street View project was launched in Dublin yesterday. The new application offers Internet users the chance to explore cities and towns throughout the country through street level imagery
Google said that 51,000 miles of road have been driven by the company as they gathered imagery throughout the country. Ireland is the 25th country to launch the initiative.
Welcoming the launch today Minister for for Tourism, Culture and Sport Mary Hanafin described the new application as "is an example of a practical innovation which makes life easier for people using the Internet to locate and research Ireland’s cities, towns and streets”.
“Its applications are many but one of the real benefits for Ireland is from a tourism perspective,” she said. “Street View will showcase the real beauty of Ireland’s towns and countryside to millions of Internet users around the world and has the potential to deliver a welcome boost to visitor numbers to Ireland."
The Street View project which is available in 25 countries has been marred by controversy in some countries with hundreds of thousands Germans requesting their homes to be excluded from the service.
Minister Hanafin said she understood people's concerns about their privacy. "I know other countries have raised issues about privacy and it's something Google always have to be very conscious of, by obviously ensuring that people can't be identified, car numbers can't be identified. I mean, there are ways of protecting privacy and obviously I know that that's to the forefront in the pictures they are putting up."
Responding to privacy concerns, the head of Google Ireland, John Herlihy said "Any user can easily flag images for removal that he or she considers inappropriate by clicking on ‘report a problem’."
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