Global technology major Google has announced to relaunched its Street View feature in India, after discontinuing it six years ago over security reasons. The Google Street View is an immersive 360-degree view of a location captured using special cameras mounted on vehicles or on backpacks by data collectors moving around the city streets. The images are then patched together to create a 360-degree view which users can swipe through to get a detailed view of the location.
According to the company the new feature is launched in partnership with Indian technology companies Genesys and Tech Mahindra. The government had announced a mapping policy last year that allowed Indian entities to freely acquire, digitise and create geospatial data.
Foreign companies and foreign-controlled Indian companies can license such maps to serve Indian customers. But even then, the data has to reside with the Indian entities and cannot be allowed to be passed through the licensee or its servers.
Genesys and Tech Mahindra together have used vehicles to take pictures and videos covering over 150,000km spanning 10 cities in India, including Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Pune.
“The plan is to expand this to more than 50 cities by the end of 2022, and many more next year,” Miriam Karthika Daniel, VP for maps experiences at Google, said.
According to Birendra Sen, business head for business process services at Tech Mahindra, said they are mounting cameras on Mahindra’s cars and e-rickshaws to capture live data. “It can become the base data for infrastructure for autonomous vehicles. We can combine this with technologies like 5G to create lots of opportunities,” Sen said.