Google Street View: Making Hong Kong Easier to Navigate

It’s nice to have Hong Kong’s blueprint displayed online with the launch of Google Street View Hong Kong Edition. The city comes after Japan, Singapore and Taiwan. Along with Hong Kong’s launch is also Macau’s debut. For the uninformed, you can access this feature using Google Maps, find an address (try Time Square, Lan Kwai Fong or Ladies Market.

time-square
Time Square, Causeway Bay

lan-kwai-fong
Queens Road Central

mongkok
Ladies Market, Mong Kok

nathan-road
Nathan Road, Kowloon

tsingma
Tsing Ma Bridge

kingsroad
Kings Road, North Point

cantonroad
Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

tingkau
Tuen Mun Road & Ting Kau Bridge

saikung
Sai Kung

islandcorridor
Island East Corridor

taitamrd
Tai Tam Road

tsingkwai
Tsing Kwai Highway, Kowloon

In 2009, there were reports that cars with Google Street View labels were spotted on Hong Kong’s streets. So it’s not surprising to see these fine looking images. For tourists coming to Hong Kong for the first time, they’ll get a glimpse of what to expect, study the streets or at least familiarize places to go. Therefore, this Google Maps addition looks like a big progress especially to those who are not very good at reading the maps.

streetview-car

For the sake of privacy, any person’s image captured by the camera has his or her face blurred. The same was applied to car plates to get Google out of trouble. Of course privacy advocates have been vocal in expressing opposition to this feature. As photos are good pieces of evidence, people don’t want to be captured during embarrassing or compromising situations: naked people in beaches, guys holding hands with wrong women, men leaving strip clubs or anybody who don’t wish to be part of these street images. Maybe one of these days, we’ll start hearing complaints from Hong Kong people for appearing on Google Street Maps without their consent.