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Google Street View Now Available in Botswana

Google has announced in a blog post that its street view maps system is now available in Botswana. That makes Botswana the second country after South Africa to have the street view.

Despite concerns of privacy in Europe and America, Google is still pushing its street view project in countries like the ones in Africa with very weak privacy legislations. Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Greece have all expressed concern with Street View. With street view, Google cars will start driving around the country collecting images which are then processed and then uploaded onto Google maps.

The images stitched together, allows Google maps users to view and navigate 360 degree street-level imagery of streets and sites. Concerns have been raised in situations where Google upload details like car registrations numbers of estate residents onto Google maps. Sometime the street view cams have captured people in intimate positions in their bedrooms.

Google has agreed to blur out people’s faces, license plate numbers, as well as lower the height of the Street View camera to ensure it doesn’t become a “peeping Tom”.

Google has indicated that “Street View driving in Botswana will primarily be focused on the major urban areas of Gaborone and Francistown. Some of the country’s stunning destinations and wildlife reserves will also be photographed, with our cars set to drive around Chobe National Park, Moremi Game Reserve, Central Kalahari Game Reserve,  Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, and the Nxai salt pans.”

Street View is a Google Maps feature launched in 2007 and already available in more than 30 countries around the world. It is also available in Google Earth and on Google Maps for Mobile.

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Written by Robert

Respected Kenyan blogger, tech evangelist, and social justice activist. Robert is known for his hard-hitting articles and opinions disseminated through his Twitter handle @RobertAlai or Facebook page (www.fb.com/RobertAlai).

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