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Google Street View imagery to go nationwide

11th March 2010 Print

Google have increased availability of its Street View service in Google Maps, by adding new imagery covering almost all of the UK's roads, both rural and urban.

People will be able to view and explore 360 degree street-level imagery of places as far North as Shetland and as far South as Penzance; from Pembrokeshire in the West of Wales to Ipswich in the East of England or over the sea to Northern Ireland and many places in between. With this imagery update around 238,000 miles of public road are now available in Street View in the UK. Visit

Google first launched imagery for 25 cities in the UK in March 2009 and since doing so has been working hard to process and stitch together more imagery collected by its cars. By increasing availability to cover almost all of the country, the UK joins countries like Spain, France, Italy and the US, which already enjoy nationwide coverage in Street View.

People can check out a restaurant before arriving, make travel plans, arrange meeting points, get a helping hand with geography homework, or just get to know their town better.

Businesses of any size can make the most of this technology for free by embedding Google Maps into their websites. An owner of a local B&B can promote it to visitors for example, or a local library or restaurant could ensure people can find them on a street level map. Many UK businesses have already benefitted from having Street View technology on their sites, enabling their customers to easily find the information they need.

Street View has already proved both popular and useful across the UK, with more than a 30% sustained increase in Google Maps usage since launch.

Today, new findings from YouGov reveal how people use it in their daily lives. It shows almost two thirds (60%) of people who have used Street View have done so to find out where they're going and get directions; one third (33%) have used it to look at places in other countries and one in five (21%) have already used it for house-hunting, despite up until now only being available in 25 UK cities.

Ed Parsons, Google's Geospatial Technologist said: "Street View takes mapping to a level not possible before. And with so many practical applications its no wonder that over two thirds of people who had tried the service said they would use Street View again. This new imagery of so many stunning British places means it's the ideal time to start planning a trip, kick start a house-hunt or simply ensure you never arrive late to a meeting again."

"We are proud to continue our partnership with Google Street View," says Nigel Lewis, Property Expert at "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. 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. To prove its appeal, over 80% of polled users said Street View was an important tool in their property buying process."

Alex Chesterman, CEO of property website, commented: "Google Streetview is a great tool that has been integrated into our website since it first launched. Being able to offer street level imagery for the whole of the UK is an invaluable feature for our users as they search for homes to buy or rent and do their research on current home values and recent sold prices. is all about providing useful tools to our users help them make better informed property decisons and Google Streetview is an important part of that mission.”

Sandie Dawe, Chief Executive, VisitBritain said: "We're pleased that Google has increased its coverage of places in Britain. and Google Street View are increasingly becoming the first places people turn to when planning a visit to one of Britain's many world-class attractions. Whether it's shopping or museums; coastal towns or countryside; ancient history or ultra modern architecture, our potential visitors can dip in and find something to inspire them to visit our shores."

Gordon Butler, founder of said: "We provide our site visitors with the best possible information about where they are going to go before they visit and Street View takes this to a new level - it's practically the next best thing to being there.

With our guide and Street View's imagery, visitors are instantly familiar with their destination the moment they step from the plane, train, bus or taxi. And, now with imagery for so many new places in UK enriching our site even more, we've given people yet another reason to use"

Google has gone to great lengths to safeguard privacy while allowing all British users to benefit from this feature. Street View only contains imagery that is already visible from public roads and features technology that blurs both faces and licence plates. Google provides the easily accessible 'report a problem' tool for flagging inappropriate or sensitive imagery for review and removal - that includes giving users the choice to remove themselves, their car or their house completely from Street View if they like. Where our blurring tools have missed the odd face or licence plate anybody can report these to us and we'll apply extra blurring. Google UK has consulted extensively with many privacy and community groups in developing the feature and privacy safeguards.

On Monday 8th March Google revealed the winners of its 'Britain's Best Streets Award,' whose aim was to celebrate the country's best foodie, fashion and most picturesque street. The initial nominations were drawn up by a panel of experts including VisitBritain, TV personalities Julia Bradbury (Countryfile), Jeff Banks (The Clothes Show) and Brix Smith Start (Gok’s Fashion Fix), leading journalists Jo Elvin (Editor, Glamour) and Nicholas Lander (Restaurant Correspondent, Financial Times) and authors David Else (Editor of The Lonely Planet Guide to Great Britain) .

In all 11,000 people in the UK voted, eventually bestowing the award on Milsom Street, Bath [Best Shopping Street], Stockbridge High St, Hampshire [Best Foodie Street], and the Shambles, York [Most Picturesque Street].