Google Street View has finally launched in the UK and its interesting to watch their reaction to it from our perspective in Australia, having been able to play with it for a few months already.
I was surprised that one of my non-tech friends (an accountant actually) stumbled upon it on day of launch. Her reaction was that it was a bit of fun.
The media over there don't seem put off by the fact that it only covers cities at the moment (my home town is hardly in the sticks, but no joy on pictures of my street to bore people over here). Nor did anyone seem to respond badly to Google's complaints that London was the hardest city to photograph yet; they blamed the weather and the one way streets.
A good 5 (?) months after service launch in Australia though, what do we see? Well it was a lot of effort to photograph mile upon mile of outback road, but is it actually useful? I use it to get a visual idea of where I am going if I am going to a meeting. But otherwise its still just a bit of fun - eclipsed by the media attention around Google Latitude's tracking systems (which, frankly, terrify me!)
Comedian Dave Gorman had an amusing story of his run in with the cameras (and the fact he is recorded for posterity on everyone's search for a particular Bethnal Green street).
But for today, I will share with you a link to the image of the outside of the Hotwire office in a trendy warehouse in Clerkenwell. Hotwire is a fellow Photon tech PR agency (and my former employer before I was lucky enough to be transfered out here to Kinetics and the Land Of The Sun). Twitter was alive yesterday with debates among former colleagues trying to work out who got caught by Google on their sneaky cigarette break.... :-)