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Google Street View car refreshing Janesville images

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GINA R. HEINE
September 14, 2011
— Janesville residents have a chance to smile for Google’s camera.

All 15 of the camera lenses.


A Google Street View car has been sighted around Janesville in the past week as it collects updated images for Google Maps.


Imagery of Janesville already has been available on Street View, which allows users to explore neighborhoods online through panoramic street-level photographs.


Google is re-driving Janesville to get fresh street-level views, Google spokeswoman Anne Espiritu wrote in an email to the Gazette.


“Updating the imagery is something we do from time to time as part of our effort to provide users with the richest, most up-to-date maps possible,” she wrote.


She couldn’t say if the cameras would be visiting any other area communities or how long the car will be in Janesville.


It can take between a few months to a year before images are uploaded, she wrote.


The car features a camera system with 15 lenses mounted several feet above the roof, and it takes photos as the car drives down streets. The photos go through computer processing, including face-blurring technology, which helps make sure passers-by can’t be identified, Espiritu wrote. Legible license plates also are blurred.


People can ask for images of their house, car or themselves to be further obscured in Street View by clicking on “Report a problem” on the bottom left-hand side of the Street View image. After submitting a request, Google will blur the image, Espiritu wrote.


Street View only features imagery taken on public property, she wrote.


Drivers of the Street View cars are familiar with the local roads and work for Google only on a short-term basis, she wrote.



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