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Google Street View reaches Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand: Google Inc and Tourism of Thailand (TAT) jointly launched its ‘Street View’ service for Thailand. The project offers street view or 360-degree street-level imagery of three best-known provinces of Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket. Street View allows users to click through a seamless view of streets via the company’s Google Maps website.

To capture the high resolution images, Google deployed drivers manning dozens of cars equipped with rooftop cameras containing 15 lenses. The devices snapped 360 degree still images, which were later “stitched” together to create seamless, clickable panoramas.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, David Marx, Google’s Asia Pacific communications manager, said, “We really wanted to show people that the floods were over and that Thailand was back, and to have (Street View) be useful for tourism around the world.” Marx added that similarly, after last year’s tsunami and earthquake in Japan, Google’s Street View images of that country were used in the crisis response to convey the extent of the damage to relief workers and others.

Now that Thailand’s floodwaters have drained, Street View can also be used in a more typical fashion: as a navigational aid. Google representatives say they hope that small businesses can use the service to show patrons where their shops or offices are located.

Thailand is the 35th country in the world and the second country in Southeast Asia after Singapore to have been included in the Google street view map.

Source: The Wall Street Journal