Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) just launched their Street View search feature in Israel- a first for the Middle East. The feature was originally planned to launch in two days (April 22) but according to certain sources, it’s already active.
The street view includes images of Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv, Merhavia, Kfar Kama, Nahsholim, and Beersheeba.
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Israeli government officials gave Google the green light to launch the project late last summer with several conditions. Google is required to follow Israel’s technology laws, they must use both online and offline methods to announce their service, and they must also allow the public to access extra blurring of pictures. Israel is also allowed to take legal matters against Google anytime.
Google’s Street View first launched back in 2007 as a part of Google Maps and Google Earth. It’s a cool tool that allows users to take in panoramic views of select streets allowing you to zoom in and out of the images for a richer three dimensional view. The search tool was originally exclusive to the United States but has since expanded worldwide to many locations all over the world including United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Spain, Macau, Italy, Portugal, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, and many more.
In March, Google launched street view images from more exotic locations like the Amazon and Thailand.
Google Street view is a useful multi-purpose tool that many people can and should use. It’s useful for travelers who want to get acquainted with certain locations they have never seen before, and it’s also useful for young children who want to learn geography.
The recent expansion to include Israel hopefully won’t be the last. We’re hoping that within the next few months, Google will continue to add more countries from the Middle East and elsewhere. It’s only a matter of time until people can view three dimensional images of great cities like Dubai, Instabul, and Abu Dabi.