A Google vehicle with roof-mounted laser cameras scans a Langley City street on Wednesday, July 5. The Internet search giant is updating it’s online imagery of the Lower Mainland. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Langley streets photographed for Google Street View update

B.C. update by internet search giant includes Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Okanogan

A green-and-white compact car with the Google logo on the doors and an array of cameras and laser scanners attached to the roof was slowly going up and down 198 Street near Brydon Park in Langley City earlier this month.

The internet search giant is updating Street View, the Google Map function that allows a virtual drive through certain communities.

The company website said Google began carrying out an update of Street View in B.C. in April of this year and will continue until November.

The effort will produce new ground-level views of the Fraser Valley, Greater/Metro Vancouver, Okanagan-Similkameen, Squamish, Capital, Nanaimo and Alberni-Clayoquot regions, Google said.

Each car records GPS location, speed and direction so that when the “pegman” icon (named for its resemblance to a clothes peg) is dragged to a street on a Google map, the view matches the map location.

Cameras in the car take slightly overlapping pictures that are ‘stitched’ together into a single 360-degree 3D image using the data from the lasers to determine how far a building or object is from a viewer.

The Street View service has been the subject of occasional controversy over the years, with privacy advocates complaining that cameras have recorded men leaving strip clubs, protesters at an abortion clinic and sunbathers in bikinis.

In 2012, police in Scotland were called after a local business owner in Edinburgh, as a prank, staged a fake murder for a passing Google camera car by lying in the road while another man stood over him with a pickaxe handle.

The business owner apologized for wasting police time.

A number of countries have moved to restrict Google Street View over privacy concerns.

Japan and Switzerland ordered Google to lower the height of its cameras so they cannot peer over fences and hedges.

In 2009, European data protection authorities required that Google announce the routes of Street View camera vehicles before taking any pictures.

The company automatically blurs faces and license plates to address privacy concerns and says it will blur houses for any user who asks.

By one estimate, Street View photos have covered five million miles of roads in 39 countries and about 3,000 cities including most of North, Central and South America.

Google is a play on the word googol, which was coined by Milton Sirotta, nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner, to describe the number one followed by 100 zeros.

The company was famously started in a garage by Stanford University graduate students Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998.


Google Street View image of Langley City hall taken in October of 2016.

Just Posted

Former U.S. Olympian urges audience at TWU to stay true to themselves

‘I made the decision to lie,’ says Marion Jones

Langley senior about to turn 102

Centenarian and then some Mary Foote remains independent

Rainfall warning issued across Lower Mainland into the weekend

50 to 70 mm of rain expected to fall starting overnight Friday and into Sunday morning

Husband pleads guilty in relation to 2009 killing of Kulwinder Gill

Abbotsford woman died in hit-and-run conspiracy

Crash closes 264 Street in both directions

Crash closes 264 Street during afternoon commute on Thursday

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

‘Hearties’ descend on Langley

Fans of TV show ‘When Calls the Heart’ have gathered in Langley for the Hearties Family Reunion

Most Read