Google Street View to launch in Botswana

Feb 23, 2012
A Google Street View car charts the streets of Brasília, Brazil in 2011. Botswana will be the second African country to launch Google Street View, officials announced Thursday, saying the technology would boost the nation as a diamond exporter and safari destination.

Botswana will be the second African country to launch Google Street View, officials announced Thursday, saying the technology would boost the nation as a diamond exporter and safari destination.

"The initiative has come at a very crucial stage for Botswana because it will heighten our campaign to promote the country as a diamond centre and destination of choice for tourists," government spokesman Jeff Ramsay told a press conference.

The service will feature images of streets and landscapes in capital Gaborone, second city Francistown, and tourist destinations such as the , wildlife-flush Chobe National Park and the Makgadikgadi salt pans, officials said.

It is expected to launch in about seven months.

spokeswoman for Sub-Saharan Africa Julie Taylor said the panoramic street-level images would help Botswana's rapidly growing tourism industry.

"We already have requests from safari companies in the Okavango Delta, which is the largest inland delta in the world, because they have realised that it is one of the best marketing tools," she said.

The decision to target Botswana was based in part on its wildlife, she added.

Tourism currently makes up around 10 percent of Botswana's $14.9-billion (11.2-billion-euro) economy. Diamond sales, the country's boom industry, make up about one-third.

Google also wants to find ways to improve the southern African country's Internet access, Taylor said.

"We will also seek to work closely with mobile network companies, as cell phones are now the major tool used to access the Internet," she said.

South Africa, the continent's largest economy, became the first African country to launch Google in 2009.

Street View, which was launched in 2006, lets users take a virtual "drive" through cities and along roads, viewing panoramic scenes on Google Maps.

Images are taken by cars equipped with special cameras which photograph an area while driving through.

The images are then processed in the United States, where details such as faces and registration plates are automatically blurred before being published on .

Street View is available in more than 30 countries worldwide, but the service has raised hackles over the privacy issues raised by the images randomly captured by the cars.

Explore further: Expanding the breadth and impact of cybersecurity and privacy research

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Israel gives green light to Google Street View

Aug 22, 2011

Israel's ministry of justice said on Monday that it has given the go-ahead for Google Street View to start photographing streets in Israel to put on its 3D-mapping website.

Israel mulls security impact of Google Street View

Feb 21, 2011

Israeli ministers on Monday discussed the security and privacy implications of allowing Google Street View to photograph streets in Israel ahead of the launch here of the 3D-mapping service.

Belgium probes Google's Street View

Apr 21, 2011

Belgium became Thursday the latest European country to investigate Google's Street View picture map after cars taking pictures for the programme collected private data.

Google removes street images over privacy complaints

Mar 20, 2009

US software giant Google said Friday it had removed several images from its Street View software, which allows web surfers to view parts of 25 British cities, after users raised privacy concerns.

Google brings 'Street View' to Antarctica

Oct 01, 2010

Google's "Street View" imagery has sparked privacy concerns in some countries but that's unlikely to be the case with its latest destination -- Antarctica, populated mostly by penguins.

Recommended for you

US warns retailers on data-stealing malware

4 hours ago

US government cybersecurity watchdogs warned retailers Thursday about malware being circulated that allows hackers to get into computer networks and steal customer data.

Irish bookmaker apologizes for 2010 data breach

4 hours ago

(AP)—Irish betting company Paddy Power announced Thursday it is notifying hundreds of thousands of customers that most of their profile information was stolen in 2010, but hackers did not gain their credit card details ...

Misinformation diffusing online

7 hours ago

The spread of misinformation through online social networks is becoming an increasingly worrying problem. Researchers in India have now modeled how such fictions and diffuse through those networks. They described details ...

User comments : 0