Google's Street View expansion hits 50 countries as Hungary joins the fold

Five years after it launched, Google's mapping service has hit its half-century with its biggest update yet.

Buda castle in Hungary, Budapest, seen on Street View. Image: Google

It may not always meet with regulators' approval , but Google Street View is taking over even more of Europe.

In what the company is billing as the biggest update to Street View's images to date, Google has added two new countries to the mapping service and extended its coverage in others.

Hungary is now on Street View, Google announced on Tuesday, along with Lesotho, an independent state surrounded by South Africa. The pair take the total number of countries where Street View is live to 50, a landmark it's hit around five years after the service first launched.

Budapest isn't the only Central European country to get the Street View expansion treatment: imagery for both Poland and Romania have been "significantly" expanded, according to Google.

Yesterday's refresh brought new imagery to 14 countries in total, including France, Italy, Russia, Singapore and Thailand, with 350,000 miles of roads getting an update.

Tourist attractions, including Kilkenny Castle in Ireland and the Pena National Palace in Portugal, have also been added to Street View this week.

Last month, images of a small town named Namie-machi, abandoned after Japan's Fukishima nuclear disaster, were also put on Street View.

In March, Google added Bulgaria to its Street View  service, and expanded coverage in the UK and Russia.