Google Street View gets go-ahead in Lithuania

June 7, 2012

Google has gotten the go-ahead from Lithuania for its popular, if at times controversial, Street View application, an add-on to Google Maps, a company official said Thursday.

Google Street View obtains street-level of cities and towns and positions it on for public view.

Lithuanian officials were initially reluctant to proceed with the initiative due to privacy and security concerns, a complaint which Google had to previously contend with in other countries.

"After today we will start the driving, that will take a couple of months probably and then it will take another couple of months until we can publish this imagery," Ulf Spitzer, program manager said Thursday in Vilnius.

Lithuanian authorities had initially suggested that Google open up a local branch in the EU country to assure legal accountability for its activities. But a compromise solution was found by placing the project under the auspices of the Google's EU-based Irish branch.

Two cars equipped with video gear are to begin filming the picturesque streets of the Lithuania capital Vilnius before heading to other cities.

Mayor of Vilnius Arturas Zuokas said he was pleased the project had got the go-ahead, saying it would help the capital's international status and popularity.

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