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Google expands SA Street View imagery

11 July, 2011 – After the successful launch of Google Street View in South Africa in June last year, and the addition of numerous heritage sites and Cape wineries to the Street View image bank, Google is pleased to announce that users are now able to explore even more of the country from the comfort of their PCs. Google Street View adds another dimension to Google Maps, with 360-degree street-level photographic images taken by the Google cars and trikes.

Substantial additions to Street View have been made for Limpopo, Western Cape, Northern Cape, Free State, North West, and Mpumalanga provinces. The southernmost tip of Africa is also now part of Street View, with the inclusion of Cape Agulhas, where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. Coastal fans can take a drive through the beautiful West Coast National Park, check out imagery of Saldanha Bay, an important natural harbour and port town, or visit Port Edward.

Among many other new additions, users who are more interested in urban centres can explore Polokwane, the capital of Limpopo Province; Mokopane, one of South Africa’s richest agricultural areas; Mthatha, not far from Mr. Mandela’s home village; or Harrismith, a wool producing district that is also home to the largest truck stop in the Southern Hemisphere.

“We are delighted to be adding a host of new South African imagery to Google Street View, both rural and urban,” says Julie Taylor, Communications Manager for Google Sub Saharan Africa. “Whether you want to visit the edge of the Kalahari desert or coastal Margate, drive through the Karoo, or just check out parking options in Polokwane, Street View has something for everyone.”

Extra imagery for 12 other established Street View countries is also now available including Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Romania, Taiwan, Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom. Users can enjoy everything from the landscapes of Tuscany to popular California landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge or the Getty Museum.

Using Google Street View

In areas where Street View is available, you can see the images on Google Maps (on a PC or Internet-enabled mobile) by zooming into the lowest level, or by dragging the orange “Pegman” icon on the left-hand side of the map onto a blue highlighted street.

Google has gone to lengths to safeguard privacy while allowing all South African 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. In addition, any user can easily flag images for removal that he or she considers inappropriate by clicking on “Report a problem”. South Africa is the first country in Africa to get Street View imagery in Maps. Large areas of the US, Australia, Japan, France, Italy and Spain are presently visible in Street View, first launched in May 2007 and hugely popular worldwide.

To learn more about Street View, visit: www.google.co.za/streetview

About Google Inc.

Google’s innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google’s targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. For more information, please visit www.google.com and the Google Africa Blog. You can also follow Google’s Africa team on Twitter: twitter.com/googleafrica

Notes to Editors

Some special locations on Street View:

For sports lovers:

For outdoors lovers:

For city lovers:

Some of the wineries currently on Street View: