Google is bringing Street View to India, an ambitious plan to collect visual data on the vast sub-continent. The project started in Bangalore and will move through the country the way it has done with 25 other countries since 2007.
Google will also try to avoid the same problems that have plagued Street View data collection in other countries, such as alleged privacy violations stemming from Wi-Fi hotspot mapping and identifying individuals.
There is no word yet on how denizens of India feel for being passed on getting Street View in favor of Antarctica (which got the service in September, 2010). Except for the travel, the logistics of mapping the ground of India is probably a lot harder than Antarctica. There are more than a billion people in India with cities that range from metropolitan to shantytowns and slums. There are certainly not one billion people in Antarctica (or penguins, for that matter), much less shantytowns.
Street View images of Bangalore are not available but will go live once Google has finished processing the data.
"We have got permission from Bangalore police, and are in touch with state and central governments," a Google spokeswomen told international news wire AFP. "We want to map all of the city, but anyone can complain if they are unhappy about coverage."
If India is anything like its European counterparts, there may be a couple mishaps. The United Kingdom challenged Street View, Germany had some problems but ultimately ruled it legal and France imposed a 100,00 euro fine on Google for collecting personal information.