India Presses Shift+Del On Google’s Street View
The Indian Ministry of Home affairs has given a thumbs down to Google’s Street View and has rejected the company’s application to map Indian cities in the 360 degree view. The service, if allowed, had put Indian cities, hills and rivers in an app through which one can explore 360 degree, panoramic and street level imagery of places.
What it means for the common man is that Indian cities will not be available for 3D view in Google’s Maps.
Launched in 2007 in United States, the Google Street View expanded to include cities and rural areas across the world. It has gained popularity worldwide.
Interestingly rejection of Google street view came just a few hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi left US, what is being touted as a hugely successful visit.
Security establishment has had apprehensions in allowing such image capturing, especially in wake of 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, where evidence of photographic reconnaissance of various targets by Pakistani American David Coleman Headley were found.
Official sources said the rejection came after a detailed analysis by security agencies and defence forces which feel that allowing Google to cover India would compromise country’s security interest.
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said that once the proposed Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016 comes into force, issues related to internet based application would be resolved.
The internet services giant wanted to cover most of the Indian territory through the Google Street View.
Google had on an experimental basis launched Street View for some the Indian tourist sites like Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Varanasi river bank, Nalanda University, Mysore Palace, Thanjavur Temple, Chinnaswamy stadium besides others in partnership with the Archaeological Society of India.
The company had started its mapping operations for Street View in India a few years ago in Bangalore. However, within days authorities asked the company to stop the operations. Google at that time said that it had taken permission from cops but the mapping exercise was stopped after the government sought some clarification.
Google has not yet commented on Thursday’s development in this matter. We have reached out to the company and will update when it provides its statement.