Town's streets captured for Street View

EVER fancied snooping around Ipswich without leaving the comfort of your living room?Soon you will be able to do just that thanks to the latest innovation from boffins at Google who have sent out special photographic cars to picture the streets from eye-level.

EVER fancied snooping around Ipswich without leaving the comfort of your living room?

Soon you will be able to do just that thanks to the latest innovation from boffins at Google who have sent out special photographic cars to picture the streets from eye-level.

Google Street View allows web surfers to select nearly any street in major towns and cities across the UK and nose at 360-degree photographs.

The jaw-dropping technology is already up and running in 25 urban centres across the country and features images of some 22,360 miles of roads.

Google's car roof-mounted cameras were driving around Ipswich yesterday, capturing the network of streets in advance of the town joining the likes of London, Liverpool and even Norwich to appear on Street View.

While Google has received plaudits for its latest initiative, privacy campaigners have criticised the technology, claiming it is too intrusive and could be used as a reconnaissance tool by burglars and terrorists.

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Already some pictures from London have been removed. One showed a customer leaving a sex shop, another showed someone being sick in the street.

Ipswich council leader Liz Harsant said Street View was an interesting idea - but admitted she had reservations over the security implications.

“I'm not against it but my one concern is for elderly people, who may feel vulnerable having their home pictured on the internet,” she said.

It is not yet known when Ipswich's roads will appear on Street View - although the streets that went live yesterday had been pictured last year.

Chris Mole, Labour MP for Ipswich welcomed Street View, claiming it would literally put the town on the map.

“I think it's an excellent development of a tool that dozens of people find helpful on a daily basis,” he said.

“The concerns that are being raised in terms of worries about privacy are being over-hyped. If anyone really wanted to find out what people were doing they could just walk down the street and garner the same information.”

Is Google Street View too intrusive? Comment online at www.eveningstar.co.uk or write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Visit www.maps.google.co.uk and type the address or postcode of the street you would like to look at.

Navigate your way along the street using the circular direction tool, which also allows you to look up and down.

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