Google maps are a great trip planning tool, especially the “Street View” that is available for many countries. You can “walk” down the street of a vacation rental or hotel you are thinking about booking to see what types of places are next door or where the closest cafe is. Or you can be an armchair traveler and see the world from home.
I used Street View for France when planning our summer trip, but it is not available for the Cotswolds in England. However, it will be soon! Parts of London are on Street View now and the rest of England is being photographed by the “Google camera”.
England is being photographed by Google now but not everyone is happy about this.
Residents challenge Google camera, BBC News, Friday April 3 2009.
“Angry residents in Milton Keynes blocked the driver of a Google Street View car when he started taking photographs of their homes. Police were called to Broughton after residents staged the protest, accusing Google of invading their privacy and “facilitating crime”.”
Here we are in London, standing on the London Bridge, looking at the River Thames and the Tower Bridge.
[iframe http://maps.google.com/maps/sv?cbp=12,128.64138572501912,,0,-3.55907780979827&cbll=51.508958,-0.08728&panoid=&v=1&hl=en&gl=us 600 400]
View larger Google Map (you should see a small version of the map above)
To see a Street View, go to maps.google.com and put in the address or just the town and country name. Click on the “person” icon at the top of the scale control and you will pop into street view if it is available.