Google Street View comes to the UK

The TechRadar offices in London
The TechRadar offices in London

Google has finally launched Street View over in the UK, after it was first released in the US over two years ago.

The service provides 360-degree horizontal and 290-degree vertical panoramic street level views and is said to give drivers a good understanding of places before they visit them.

The UK has been inundated with Google-branded cars rolling around its streets for months, and the results have finally been published for all the world to see.

25 cities will be getting the Google treatment initially, with London, Manchester and Edinburgh among the primary sites.

Clear or blurred?

Google had previously claimed that it would blur out any faces on the service, and although it has managed to do so on car number plates, a huge number of faces are clear for anyone to see.

However, the Information Commissioner's Office said that Google's efforts into protecting privacy was adequate, and that the technology used to blur people's faces was adequate.

The initial announcement that Google was bringing Street View to the UK cause great outcry from certain media outlets last year, and TechRadar has contacted Google to find out whether this launch adequately complies with the privacy safeguards it pledged.

Check out Street view on Google Maps by selecting a major city and then dragging the icon of the little yellow man in the top left hand corner onto the map. Any roads with Street View available are then shown up in blue... get virtual voyaging!

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.