No Google Street View for India
Concerned that the utility will pose a threat to the country's security, the government of India rejected Google's plans to collect images for it's Street View Service. Security agencies and defence forces, after carrying out a detailed analysis, felt that allowing Google to cover India will compromise India's security interest. Google's data collection has been a cause of concern in several countries.
Google Street View
Google Street View is a technology that is featured in Google Maps and Google Earth. It uses 360-degree, panoramic, and street-level 3D imagery to explore places around the world. It displays scenic views from positions along numerous streets in the world. Most photography is done by a moving vehical, few topographical conditions require photography by trekkers, tricycles, boats, snowmobiles, camels and underwater equipment.
How did Google Street View expand?
Street View was launched in the USA in 2007 where it covered San Francisco, Denver, Las Vegas, New York and Miami. By 2010, Google expanded it's mapping service to Antarctica - the world's southernmost continent, and has since, grown extensively. Currently, Google Street View features locations from all the seven continents of the world. It covers 65 plus countries, traveling over twelve million kilometers.
Land of Penguins
When Google Street View covered Antarctica, this gave the users an opportunity to navigate around the snow-capped mountains, icebergs of Antarctica and even spot several Penguin colonies captured by Google's cameras.
Google Street View extends to India
Google brought it's mapping services to India in 2011, capturing 360-degree street-level imagery in Bangalore. The internet company had also obtained permission from the traffic police department for the same. However, it was forced to stop after receiving a letter by the Commissioner of Police. The ACP stated that Google had failed to obtain clearances from the Central Government and Ministry of Defence.
Google partners with Archaeological Survey of India
In 2013, Google announced a partnership with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in order to bring India's cultural attractions online. On an experimental basis, it displayed it's Street View technology in tourist sites and made possible panoramic images of 31 Indian archaeological sites and monuments. It featured the Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar, Varanasi river bank, Ajanta & Ellora caves among others.
Why did the government reject Google's plans?
Security establishments are wary of Google's image-capturing technology, given that the 2008 Mumbai attacks involved photographic reconnaissance of targets. Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Home said that once the proposed Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016 comes into action, these issues would be resolved. According to a senior Home Ministry official, terrorists and criminals could use the service as virtual reconnaissance of different locations.