XWiki and Google Street View

Dec 03 2008

Google Street View allows users to navigate 360 degrees to view street level images from any angle. The system was launched in 2007 and first introduced in the United States. Then, more countries were added : France, Spain, Italy, Australia and Japan. Of course, not all the cities can be virtually visited and Google selected only few big ones. In France, the "Google cars" (with cameras) visited 6 of them: Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Lille and Toulouse.

Did you have a look at it? At XWiki, we could not resist to temptation:

  

We can see there the logo of XWiki, but also one of our project managers, Stephan Barbey, and our assistant Meryame Rami.

This system inevitably creates problems of confidentiality and safety concerning the publication of faces and number plates on Internet. There were several reactions from net surfers. Google made some efforts to address the complaints (the company didn't have the choice):

  • Google developed a system to blur automatically number plates and faces of people who are filmed;
  • It is possible to request image removal by filling a form.

    From Ludovic Dubost (via his tweet Twitter), our CEO : "Our XWiki logo shows up in our office front window in Google Street View ! Nice !"