Businesses across the UK could benefit from greater exposure from tomorrow as Google's controversial Street View service expands with the rollout of new imagery covering "almost all" of the country's roads.
Street View was introduced in the US in May 2007 and reached the UK around a year ago. The system lets users of Google Maps switch from the traditional birds-eye view to a 360-degree street level view of towns and cities photographed by Google's car-top cameras.
Businesses can embed Google Maps into their websites free of charge, providing potential customers with a user-friendly display of their location.
Approximately 210,000 additional miles have been added to Street View with this latest update, bringing the total to around 238,000, according to Google. The UK will join countries including Spain, France, Italy and the US which already enjoy nationwide coverage.
"We have provided the tool to our users since its launch in the UK, and to see it grow into one of the most indispensible tools available to house hunters is fantastic," said Nigel Lewis, property expert at FindaProperty.com.
"Giving our users the best tools to assist with their search is fundamental to our site objectives, and Street View enables a more in-depth search experience."
Google was quick to point out that any members of the public caught on camera would have their faces blurred to avoid any lingering concerns over privacy.
Street View was beset by privacy problems when it launched, and Google was forced to pull several images that identified specific individuals.
Despite widespread complaints, privacy watchdog the Information Commissioner's Office ruled that the tool did not breach the Data Protection Act.
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