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Google Street View shuns UK

Google Street View sounds like fun. It's like Google Earth, just with panoramic views at street level. Some of us have even seen the special Google cars driving around snapping roads, buildings, phone boxes, litter bins, dog mess, lampposts, street signs, vehicles, and even people (mainly with their faces smudged out).

Who wouldn't want to take a peek at their own local area, or wander round cosmopolitan places without having to leave your desk?

Of course, there are dozens of places in the US to gawp at while meandering around. And there's a fair few in France.

Google Street View USA

But, despite the sightings of Google cars driving around in the UK there are precisely no Google street views of our little island. Google Street View was launched in May 2007. It's nearly 2009. Wasn't the Web meant to be super quick at information delivery? Ditto, Google?

Google Street View Europe

There are 17 locations in bloody Australia (their phrase, not mine), for Pete's sake. Japan gets a few, as well.

But none in Blighty. Is Google too busy smudging British people's faces? After all, we have a lot more people than Australia.

Is this just another Google beta that the company gave up on because it suddenly had another great idea in its head?

The UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has given Google's controversial Street View software the go-ahead in the UK. Google says that it's still waiting to see the local legal ramifications. "Legal ramifications"? You own YouTube! And you care about "Legal ramifications"?

That's just plain weird in the land of the CCTV, where citizens are watched more than radical dissidents in North Korea.

Come on, Google. What's the hold up? Let us see our streets without having to open our front doors.

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