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

Milner actor taps into inner jokester for Langley Players comedy

The curtain goes up on The Foreigners next Thursday at the Langley Playhouse.

ON GARDENING IN LANGLEY: Ice storm caused damage to many trees

Advance columnist Pam Erikson suggestions tips for minimize winter damage and prepping for spring.

Township of Langley ranked No 1 ‘least tempting’ for millennials to live

Out of 85 cities, Township ranked lowest because of crime, affordability, says Point2homes.com

Trial begins for man charged with 2010 murder of Mandy Johnson

Langley single mom was fatally shot while in vehicle in Abbotsford

Langley’s Salvation Army Kettle Campaign raises $154,000

Christmas fundraiser supports community programs through Gateway of Hope

Solitary-confinement veto a chance to address mental health: advocate

B.C. Supreme Court made the landmark ruling Wednesday

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Teachers’ union votes for non-confidence in school board

Lack of action after embattled trustee’s comments created unsafe workplace, Chilliwack teachers claim

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement

Truck Loggers Association awaits B.C. NDP government’s new direction

Global Affairs aware of report of two Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria

The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan to Abuja when they were ambushed around Kagarko

Aldergrove ball players ‘tune up’

Aldergrove Minor Baseball Association has set indoor workouts for all divisions

Most Read