Google today launched its controversial Street View service in Britain, offering Internet users panoramic street-level images of 25 cities, including London, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast.
Captured by cameras mounted on cars driven along British roads last summer, Street View offers photo montages of Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Oxford, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Scunthorpe, Sheffield, Southampton, Swansea and York.
Google says the service, which is already available in the U.S., France, Italy, the Netherlands, Japan and Australia -- allows users to view panoramas of major streets, look up landmarks and plot driving routes. A Google car was reportedly seen recently in Taipei, Taiwan.
As Google continues the unending task of chronicling the globe in pictures, pressure is mounting with regard to concerns about privacy.
Scotland Yard had no problem with the service with regard to British law, Google said, since the service provides "adequate safeguards" to protect people's privacy, allowing them to report an offending image.
The service will be extended to more cities, with the cars continuing to drive through British streets and photographs taken, the company said.