Google expands SA wineries' Street View

2012-02-06 13:00

Cape Town - Google has announced the expansion of Street View so that South Africans can view more wineries on computers or mobile devices.

New wineries that are now available include Boekenhoutskloof Winery, Groot Constantia, Hartenberg, Moreson, Rustenburg Wines and Warwick, bringing the total to 30 in SA.

The internet search giant will also expand Street View to Botswana to include cities as well as tourist landmarks.

"We are delighted to be updating Street View with more Cape winelands imagery and look forward to bringing our cutting-edge Street View technology to Botswana," said Julie Taylor, head of communications and public affairs for Google, Sub-Saharan Africa.

Although popular, Street View isn't universally available in SA, with many township areas like most of Khayelitsha and Nyanga outside Cape Town, Soweto in Gauteng and large parts of the Northern Cape province excluded.

Privacy concerns

Where Street View is available, users can use the "Pegman" to zoom in to street-level views to find help with directions, or track down business or residential addresses.

"Businesses can also benefit from the Street View technology by embedding Google Maps directly into their site for free, helping them to promote a chain of hotels, B&Bs, or raise awareness about a local library or restaurant," Google said.

Google debuted Street View inside shopping malls in 2011, allowing users to browse shops, though the company blurs faces to protect privacy.

Google has come under fire for its Street View service. In India the government has ordered the company to stop taking photographs in Bangalore over concerns that militants might use the imagery to target the country.

About 25% of German homes opted out of the Street View when it was launched there, following months of controversy over privacy concerns.

Italy restricted the operating terms of Street View cars in 2010, echoing concerns voiced in the Czech Republic, Spain and the UK.


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