Internet search giant Google activated the Street View feature of its mapping software in Canada yesterday.
The controversial feature displays a panoramic image of every street in 11 cities across Canada, including Ottawa.
Street View was launched in 2007 and is already available in 13 other countries.
Elliott Stanley, who was visiting Ottawa from Nottingham, England, said Street View has been online there over a year already. “It’s useful,” he said, “but it’s just another example of how everything is accessible now by cameras, whether it’s a street camera or Google’s cameras.”
Google said it has gone to great lengths to ensure people’s privacy. It’s stated that only images already visible from public roads are displayed online, and identifiable faces and licence plates are blurred.
“If you could see into houses, I’d find that creepy, but right now the objective is just to see the streets,” said University of Ottawa student Claire McDonald. “If I could see the place and I could see landmarks leading up to it then I’d find that pretty helpful.”