304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
The company gets the go-ahead after two previous attempts were rejected over safety concerns
Google on Wednesday announced the launch of its popular ‘Street View’ feature in India – after failing to bring the experience to India at least twice in the past decade following security concerns raised by government agencies over data collection.
For the launch, this time Google has partnered with two Indian firms – mapping solutions provider Genesys International and Tech Mahindra. Under the National Geospatial Policy 2021, local companies can collect such data and foreign firms can license data from Indian entities to serve their customers in the country.
The launch in India is a world first where Street View, which allows users to view panoramic and 360-degree views of a specific location at street level, has been completely brought to life by local partners.
Starting today, Street View will be available on Google Maps with fresh imagery licensed from local partners covering over 1,50,000 km across ten cities in India, including Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Nashik, Vadodara, Ahmednagar and Amritsar .
Google, Genesys International and Tech Mahindra plan to expand the service to more than 50 cities by the end of 2022, covering just under one million unique kilometers in 18-24 months.
“The new geospatial policy allows local entities to collect data at a certain level of fidelity. So our partners here configure the cameras, go and do the data collection. They own the data that they collect, but then they license it to entities like Google, so we can actually integrate it and offer services like Google Maps,” Miriam Karthika Daniel, vice president of Google Maps Experiences, told reporters.
To start Street View, users must open Google Maps, zoom in on a road in any of the target cities, and tap the area they want to view. “Street View will help people navigate and explore new corners of the country and the world in a more visual and accurate way, allowing them to fully experience what it’s like to be in those places right from their phone or computer,” the company said. .
He added that Street View APIs will also be available to local developers, allowing them to provide richer mapping capabilities in their services.
The company also announced a partnership with local transport authorities to help improve road safety and reduce traffic congestion. Google Maps will now display speed limit data shared by transport authorities, starting with Bengaluru.
The company also works with transport authorities and aggregators in eight cities in India, including Delhi, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Gurgaon, Bangalore and Agra to help with information regarding congestion zones, road closures, etc.