After traverising across over 50 countries and mapping out various iconic locations, Google Street View will finally available in Malaysia. Google’s fleet of famous Street View machines, such as the Street View Trolley, Trike and Trekker, will all be used in mapping out panoramic views of Malaysia’s streets.
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Google Street View was launched in the US back in 2007, and has since covered over 50 countries. In addition, Google has also traversed more than 50 landmarks in UNESCO World Heritage sites. As a result, Street View has completely revolutionized the online mapping experience, allowing users to virtually visit places they probably will never set foot on. Even better, Street View allows users to plan a journey beforehand, identifying landmarks as you would in a car – but from the comfort of your living room.
Unfortunately, this is a luxury enjoyed only by many in the West – but that will soon change. The Tourism Ministry of Malaysia has given its full support to Google Malaysia as well as giving them the permission to publish Street View imagery of public locations. Google Malaysia will also approach popular spots listed as private properties to allow the locations to be uploaded as Street View imagery.
Currently, Google already has 18 spots (full list below) around the country with exclusive Street View imagery, including local World Heritage sites such as Fort Cornwallis in Penang, the Sultan Sallahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah mosque in Shah Alam, Taman Tasik Titiwangsa, as well as Sunway Lagoon and Desa Park City.
It is also important to note that while these imagery are available online, the Street View imagery that follows from today’s rollout will, in all likelihood, take anywhere between two to four months to be published online. The images need to be stitched together to create the panoramic views, as well as have their GPS coordinates tagged on Google’s mapping servers. In addition, faces and vehicle number plates will also be blurred to protect user privacy. These are all done automatically via complex and proprietary algorithms available only to Google.
On top of that, Google Malaysia also took some time to address privacy concerns over Street View. After its 2010 controversy, where Google’s Street View cars collected private data as they photographed homes and landmarks in the UK, Google Malaysia’s Country Manager, Sajith Sivanandan reiterated that Street View images are limited to public areas only and are not displayed in real time. Also, images can be removed via the “report a problem” tool embedded on the site.
Coming soon to a Kuala Lumpur street near you
For now, Malaysians can visit the following 18 locations via Google Maps and view them on Street View, and can look forward to more imagery in the coming months. Unfortunately, the Google Street View cars will only travel around the streets of Kuala Lumpur, but the company stated that they are very interested in other locations around the country in the future.
- Taman Tasik Ampang Hilir
- Dharmikarama Burmese Temple, Georgetown, Penang
- Fort Cornwallis, Penang
- Kapitan Keling Mosque, Penang
- Penang War Museum
- Taman Putra Perdana, Putrajaya
- Taman Rimba Riang Park, Selangor
- Taman Tasik Shah Alam, Selangor
- Sunway Lagoon
- Shah Alam Go Kart
- Taman Desa Water Park
- Taman Tasik Titiwangsa
- Taman Rimba Kiara
- Taman Botanical Kepong
- Taman Tasik Kepong Metropolitan
- Sri Subramaniam Temple, Batu Caves
- Masjid Sultan Sallahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, Shah Alam
- Desa Park City
Writes primarily about mobile-centric technology. Also possibly a Nokia/Apple/Android/Jolla/iOS/Samsung/HTC fanboy.