Welcome to the future of map-making. Almost 2 years after its launch in January 2014, Google Street View is now officially available in the Philippines. The first batch of images are now live on Google Maps.
From 2014 to 2015, Google covered the streets of Metro Manila, major cities and provinces, and popular tourist spots and historical sites using an undisclosed number of Chevrolet Captiva’s. They produce 360-degree panoramic images using state-of-the-art cameras. For locations which the Captiva can't reach, they used the 'Trekker'. Basically, it has all the functionality from the Captiva fitted into a backpack, and then used by a person who reaches the location by foot.
By the way, if you're worried about privacy, the technology they use during post processing blurs faces and license plates in order to preserve the identity of people captured on the images. They also abide by the rules and regulation of the locality that they are in.
Street View is a free feature added to Google Maps, wherein you could navigate, familiarize, and even explore a specific place before you even get there.
In addition to that, you could actually go to historical and tourist spots in the comfort of your own room. Well, virtually, of course. So when you read reviews about destinations you could visit on your next long weekend, you can actually “visit” the place before booking your trip.
The launch was held at Marriott Hotel Grand Ballroom last September 16, 2015. It showcased the places that the Street View has already covered. Manny Pacquiao, representative of the lone district of Sarangani and the keynote of the event, eagerly showed us the beauty of his province. This includes the house he currently resides in, the community he grew up to, the boxing gym he initially trained in, and other highlights that are dear to him.
Google also advised that they will not only cover places, but some notable festivals as well. Once released, you can now virtually go to Pahiyas Festival in Quezon without breaking a sweat.
Google Street View not only captures familiar and unfamiliar territories, it also preserves memories. Google is still on the process of covering the whole Philippines, and promises to update the images periodically. Users of street view can also upload their own 'photo-sphere' using the Street View app on their phones, which will then be verified and confirmed by other users.
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