Google Street View is a feature of Google Maps that enables users to view and navigate through 360 degree horizontal and 290 degree vertical panoramic street level images of various cities around the world. The Street View feature can be used to take virtual walks, explore landmarks or find shops, restaurants and hotels.
The images in Street View are obtained from specially-fitted cars that drive through cities and urban areas, taking panoramic 360 degree recordings of everything they find, including people completing their every-day actions. To protect people’s privacy, Google has implemented technology that blurs people’s faces and provides a way for visitors to flag inappropriate or sensitive imagery for review and removal.
Introduced in May 2007, Google Street View originally covered five major cities and their suburbs in the United States. Today, however, Street View covers the most of the United States, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
Wired Magazine provides information about the special Street View car.
Google explains how to navigate a map using the Street View feature.
Google has consistently defended its Street View tool to privacy advocates.