, NEW DELHI, May 26 – Internet giant Google on Thursday launched its ambitious "Street View" project in India to provide detailed panoramic images of life in a country of 1.2 billion people.
The 360-degree photographic mapping service, which is already in operation in more than 25 countries, will begin gathering data in the southern city of Bangalore, a technology hub where many Internet firms are based.
Google said in a statement that information collected by special cameras mounted on cars and tricycles would allow users around the world to access street-level imagery and explore the city.
"It will be as good as walking down the street from the comfort of your desktop or mobile device," the firm said.
It did not give further details about its plans to expand the project across the vast nation, where cities and villages are often a chaotic jumble of traffic jams, buffalo carts and slums.
Street View has proved hugely popular in other countries since its launch in the United States in 2007, but had also run into trouble with several governments concerned about privacy issues.
Google earlier this month said it would appeal against a Swiss ruling ordering it to ensure that all people and cars pictured on Street View were unrecognisable.
France\’s data privacy regulator imposed a record fine of 100,000 euros ($142,000) on Google in March for collecting private information while compiling photographs for the service.
Google has also agreed to delete private emails and passwords mistakenly picked up from wireless networks in Britain by its Street View cars.