Google Earth zooms in on World Cup

2010-06-09 00:00

GOOGLE Earth has released its Street View images for South Africa, just in time for World Cup visitors to check out our cities, or for their friends back home to see where they are enjoying their holidays.

The technology allows people a close-up view of World Cup venues (fan parks, stadiums and tourist destinations) in 3D format from computers or Wap-enabled cellphones.

Said Rishon Chimboza of Africa Practice, on behalf of Google South Africa, “It’s not every day that you find an elephant in Street View, or for that matter get to visit most of the new soccer stadiums in one day. But from today, people can do both with Google’s newly released Street View images and 3D models in Google Earth.

“Seven of South Africa’s new football stadiums, including Soccer City in Johannesburg, Peter Mokaba in Polokwane and Moses Mabhida in Durban, are now available to explore from pitch-level in 360°C, both inside and out.

“Street View images are also available around 27 South African towns and cities, including Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth, helping tourists get to know the local area or navigate their way to their hotel,” Chimboza said.

Julie Taylor, communications manager for Google South Africa, said: “This is a first for Africa and a really exciting development for South Africans, who can now explore their country in new ways, whether a local neighbourhood in the city or a scenic coastal route they’ve never seen.

“But it’s also going to be a massive bonus for the [South African] tourism industry …

“Tourists will be able to take a look at sights and stadiums before they get here, while the rest of the world can enjoy the view from their mobile phone or PC.”

Street View only contains imagery already visible from public roads and features technology that blurs both faces and licence plates, said Chimboza. Any user can flag images for removal.

To learn more, visit www.google.co.za/streetview.

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