Baltimore — Curious about visiting the Charm City in Baltimore neighborhood, wish to glance at its streets virtually before taking a house-hunting drive? Don’t be dejected, Baltimore has just revved up a notch in its street cred with tech geeks, Google just introduced it in Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Seattle two days ago, according to its official map blog.
The Google team is busy rolling out the feature in other U.S. cities and countries for awhile. But for now, you can just relax comfortably at your computer and use Google’s new-for-Baltimore feature in its mapping application, called “Street View”.
When you click on “Street View,” most streets in Baltimore city and much of the surrounding area have been scrutinized by Google camera-equipped cars for months and close-up images of sidewalks, building facades, traffic and pedestrians are now available for viewing — which indicates where you can see the street-level photos. Also, there is some coverage of important roads in Baltimore County.
Further to the northeast, you will see the feature available in Wilmington, Del. heading over to the south; you will find “Street View” available in parts of Annapolis, Glen Burnie, and Bowie. Hopefully, Google will expand to all the streets in the future.
The service, available in lots of cities and other areas across the country, was introduced in May 2007 with pictures of San Francisco, Las Vegas, Denver, Miami and New York. It was highly criticized for invasion of privacy, even causing some lawsuits and a ban on Google cameras on U.S. military bases.
But according to Google, Baltimore was among its highest requested cities.
Mountain View, Calif.-based Google spokeswoman Elaine Filadelfo quoted as saying to the Baltimore Business Journal in August that there were no plans to bring the service to the city. On Nov. 4 she said the images take several months to a year to gather, meaning that is how old they are.
But sadly enough, for now “Street View” is not available for the Chesapeake Bay. No wonder you can get a view from the Francis Scott Key Bridge, though right here.