The remarkable sites and history of Greece are now captured in Google Street View images, following several years of opposition from the Greek government due to privacy concerns.
The first-time images of the spectacular beauty of Greece via Street View were announced by Dionisis Kolokotsas, the public policy and government relations manager for the project in Athens, in a June 18 post on the Google Europe Blog.
“Greece is home to many of the world’s great cultural and historical monuments and remarkable landscapes, making it a natural for Street View, which allows web users to take panoramic real-life virtual tours of public roads,” wrote Kolokotsas. “That’s why we’re particularly excited to announce the launch of the path-breaking service this month, making Greece the 56th country added to Street View. From now on unique Greek landmarks, such as the Corfu Old Town, the White Tower in Thessaloniki and the Arch of Hadrian in the center of Athens, will be vividly represented on our computer screens.”
Google has brought together a sample collection of the beautiful images in Greece through its Greece Views Gallery, including the Old Town section of Corfu, the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian, the port in Mykonos, the White Tower of Thessaloniki and the Acropolis Museum.
“Many Greeks long have been keen for us to bring its benefits to their country, seeing Street View as a powerful tool for the promotion of a country,” wrote Kolokotsas. “Visitors now will be able to check their hotel in advance and preview places they want to visit. Street View benefits everyone from the wheelchair user who can check whether a building has a ramp to the elderly who may check whether there are sufficient parking spots before leaving home. Minister of Culture and Sports Panos Panagiotopoulos welcomed Street View in Greece as nothing less than ‘a gift from God.'”
The Street View images include hotels, tourist places, points of history and cultural importance, and more.
“As always, we’ve built privacy safeguards into Street View—we blur people’s faces and vehicle license plates automatically—and if anyone sees a need for additional blurring, they can let us know by clicking on ‘Report a problem’ in the bottom left corner of the screen,” wrote Kolokotsas.
Privacy issues such as these were the key stumbling block for capturing the Street View images in the past. “We’re excited to be launching our first Greek imagery, but our journey is far from finished—we are already planning to [again drive the Street View cameras around Greece] and refresh the Greek imagery” in the future.
Google’s Street View program is always growing with new images and destinations that bring amazing places to online viewers.
Google Street View Now Includes Greece for First Time
Earlier this month, Google unveiled images of the 12 stadiums where the 2014 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament is being played through July 13. The images give soccer-crazy fans around the globe a chance to get close-up looks at the venues where the games are being decided in the Brazilian cities of Salvador, Brasilia, Manaus, Recife, Natal, Cuiaba, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba and Porto Alegre.
In April 2014, Street View images were posted of one of the most beautiful, grand and opulent opera houses in Europe, the Palais Garnier in Paris, which has been hosting performances since it opened in 1875. The images portray the exquisite details of the 11-story, 1,979-seat opera house, which is the setting of the classic story, The Phantom of the Opera.
In March 2014, Street View released spectacular images of the Colorado River and its travails through the Grand Canyon and other natural land on its 1,450-mile course from Colorado to Mexico. Also in March, Street View images of the spectacular scenery in Hawaii were unveiled, showcasing the wide variety of vistas that visitors to and residents of Hawaii get to enjoy.
Images from India’s Taj Mahal were unveiled on Street View in February, along with images of some 29 other important architectural treasures in India.
Earlier in February, Street View expanded its coverage of Russia just in time for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, adding new images for Vladivostok, Yakutsk, Irkutsk and Sochi. Google Street View cars traveled more than 186,000 miles in Russia during 2013 to capture the newly added images.
In December 2013, Street View added images of Venice, Italy, to its collections, featuring lovely images of the city of canals, water, and beautiful and historic architecture.
In October 2013, Street View cameras began capturing the emotional power of thousands of military graves at Virginia’s Arlington National Cemetery, as well as the first-ever Street View images from the African nation of Swaziland.
The huge and amazing physics laboratories and research areas at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in Geneva, Switzerland, were captured by Street View cameras and released in September 2013, providing spectacular photographic images of the massive facility. Included in the online photo tour are images of the 16.7-mile-long Large Hadron Collider, which is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator used for scientific research, according to CERN. The collider began operating in 2008.
In August 2013, Street View released images of some of the world’s most spectacular zoos and wildlife parks so that online viewers can see a wide assortment of wild animals from around the world right on their own computers and mobile devices. Using Street View, online visitors can now see panda bears eating bamboo plants and tumbling around the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China, where more than 30 percent of this endangered species lives in a conservation and breeding facility. The new Street View images also include other animal parks around the world, including the San Diego Zoo, as well as zoos in Houston, Atlanta and Chicago in North America.