November 28, 2013
Google Street View Goes Into Airports, Train Stations – But Not In The US
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Just in time for the start of the holiday season, Google has added several international airports and train stations to its Street View service in order to give travelers a chance to virtually prepare for departure.
According to Wired.com’s Damon Lavrinc, the Mountain View, California-based company has added 16 airports and over 50 train stations to Street View, allowing travelers to use the service to locate baggage claim locations, rental car counters, and even seat locations.
While Stuart Dredge of The Guardian noted on Wednesday that the featured facilities include the UK’s Gatwick Airport, train stations in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds, and most London mainline stations, customers in North America have not fared nearly as well.
“People trying to navigate JFK or LAX are out of luck though, as all of the transportation centers given the Street View treatment are outside of the country,” Jon M. Chang of ABC News said. Likewise, Lavrinc said that no Canadian train stations or airports are among those currently available. He said that he contacted Google officials to find out why, but there was no response.
Nonetheless, the new features are good news for international travelers. A blog post from Google Street View Program Manager Ulf Spitzer shows off pictures from several of the locations included in the new feature, including Tokyo International Airport, Eindhoven Airport in the Netherlands, and Dubai Airport.
“Now, in addition to scoping out your destination, Street View can help you cut down the stress of traveling by giving you a preview of your journey, too,” Spitzer said. “Don’t let travel logistics get you down this holiday season. With Street View, you can see how to get where you’re going faster and easier. Enjoy and safe travels!”
“Google is pitching the new additions as a feature for tourists,” Dredge said, adding that the company “has published an interactive map showing the new Street View transit locations. This isn't the first time Street View cameras have peeked inside British buildings: in May, the University of Sheffield added full 360-degree panoramas of some of its facilities to Street View.”