With the cooperation of the Department of Tourism of the Philippines, Google announced today that it will start driving Street View cars in the Philippines to capture panoramic imagery of the country for the first time. Google is also publishing special 360-degree imagery of four locations within Intramuros so that Filipinos and people around the world can view and experience these historic sites in a new, immersive way.
Street View is a popular feature of Google Maps that allows people to virtually explore cities on Google Maps through 360-degree photographs taken at street level. With Street View imagery available in over 50 countries, today Google kicks off the first towards bringing the feature to the Philippines. Starting in the city of Manila, Google will drive colorful Street View cars equipped with special cameras to collect panoramic imagery of the Philippines. From there, the cars will continue to drive across the country, and once Street View imagery is published, people will be able to explore the Philippines on Google Maps from anywhere in the world.
For those keen to start virtually touring Manila today, Google is publishing special Street View panoramas of four sites at Intramuros: San Agustin Church, Baluarte de San Diego, Plaza San Luis Complex and Fort Santiago. These 360-degree photos were collected using the Street View Trekker, a wearable backpack camera system that is part of the Street View fleet. Google plans to use the Trekker, along with the Street View Trolley, a pushcart camera system, to capture more of the Philippines’ off-road, natural and indoor destinations as part of their efforts to bring more Filipino sites online for the world to see.
Google also hopes Street View will provide Filipinos with different ways of exploring favorite and new local spots, as well as with more relevant and useful online map services.
“Our partnership with Google to bring Street View to the Philippines will allow us to create a digital experience of our landscapes, which we hope will entice more people around the world to learn about our diverse offerings and visit our country. For us here at home, Street View can also help make the maps of our country even “more fun” and interesting, as well as enable Filipinos to explore their country more, which in turn can help boost domestic travel and tourism,” Philippine Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said.
Google goes to great lengths to safeguard privacy on Google Maps while enabling people to explore and learn from Street View imagery. Google has developed highly sophisticated technology that effectively blurs human faces and license plates of vehicles to render them unidentifiable. In addition, Google is very responsive to requests received from users to further blur any images that feature them — to submit a request, people can use the ‘report a problem’ tool available on the bottom right corner of Google Maps.
“We are delighted to work with the Department of Tourism of the Philippines to begin driving and capturing Street View imagery of the country. The Philippines is a diverse archipelago, with heritage and beauty to be found within and in between every island. By providing people and businesses alike with more useful map information, Street View can also help celebrate Filipino culture and even create lasting economic impact. We can’t wait to share the new panoramic road imagery of the Philippines on Google Maps when the imagery launches at a later date,” says Ryan Morales, Country Marketing Manager, Google Philippines.