Virtual Tourism

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Street View in Europe

street view car in Barcelona
The latest sighting of the Google Maps street view car comes from Barcelona. Flickr user zmx80 posted this photo of the street view car driving around Barcelona.

If the equipment on the top of the Google street view car looks too complicated just for taking panoramic photos you would be right. Google announced last week that it was gathering 3D data along with the photographs it takes for its on-line street views.

A number of people had already guessed that the car carried laser scanners from a photo of the street view car taken in Milan in April. Laser scanners can be used to produce detailed 3D models of buildings very quickly, and overlaying photographic imagery can give those models a more lifelike appearance.

So if street view doesn't manage to overcome the EEC's concerns over privacy it is likely that images of the buildings at least will make it to Google Earth.