Google Street View in Los Cabos
Google Street View has officially arrived in Los Cabos! It appears to have been filmed last summer – in the few areas I have checked in San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas including my own residence, probably around July/August 2009.
I’m honestly surprised how soon they got here, and how thoroughly the area has been documented. I know Mexico City was one of the first Mexican cities to be hit in April 2009, so I suspect most of Mexico is covered by now.
Google Street View is a technology featured in two Google products: Google Maps and Google Earth. This technology provides panoramic / photographic views from various positions along many streets in the world.
It was launched in late May, 2007, first only in several cities in the United States, but has since expanded to include more cities and rural areas worldwide like Los Cabos.
How did they do it ?
Straight from the Wikipedia page about Google Street View:
Google Street View displays images taken from a fleet of specially adapted cars. Areas not accessible by car, like pedestrian areas, narrow streets, alleys and ski resorts, are sometimes covered by Google Trikes (tricycles) or a snowmobile. On each of these vehicles there are nine directional cameras for 360° views at a height of about 2.5 meters, GPS units for positioning and three laser range scanners for the measuring of up to 50 meters 180° in the front of the vehicle. There are also 3G/GSM/Wi-Fi antennas for scanning 3G/GSM and Wi-Fi hotspots.
I can only imagine what was going through the head of any locals that caught sight of the car zipping through their neighborhood…. having said that, they may have brushed it off as loudspeakers on the roof, a common sight around here. But Google tricycles and snowmobiles? Now that would be a sight indeed.
How can I use it ?
Here are some ideas for you, most the same as for Google Maps or Google Earth, with some unique differences:
- Explore the world
Explore parts of the world you’ve always wanted to visit – see famous sights such as the Big Ben, Sydney Opera House, Times Square, Eiffel Tower, Colosseum, and much more.
- On the go with your mobile device
When you’re on the go, use your mobile device to see what your transit stop looks like. If you look up directions, you can also see Street View images for every step along the way.
- Check parking availability and disabled access
Check parking availability. Are there lots nearby? Do you need to bring quarters for the meter? Check in advance if a building provide easy access and wheelchair ramps for disabled persons.
- Show your parents and friends where you live
Show your parents and faraway friends where you live. Look for a place nearby to take them to brunch.
- Preview your vacation accommodation
Preview your vacation accommodation. How close is it to public transit? Is there a noisy bar next door? Is the beach really just across the road?
- Promote your business
Promote your business by showing them your building facade, nearby amenities, landmarks and lesser-known attractions.
- Show real estate listings
Real estate agents and brokers can show prospective buyers or tenants available properties. Better yet embed Street View images easily in your site with the Maps API.
- Conduct virtual field trips
Schools can incorporate Street View on both Google Maps and Google Earth into geography and history lessons.
- Show the location of a news story
Journalists can embed Street View images on their websites to show the location of news events. For example, The New York Times embedded a Street View image to show the location of an earthquake in Italy. Are you reading this Gringo Gazette?
- Scout event locations
Here are some real examples from the Los Cabos area:
Privacy issues aside, Google Street View is an incredible tool – and don’t forget that it can help your business too!