Google Street View expands across Canada

Google has updated its Street View service with increased coverage to more than 150 cities and towns across Canada.
The blue areas of this map represent where Google Street View is now available. Thin lines indicate where only highway views can be seen. ((CBC))
Google has updated its Street View service with increased coverage to more than 150 cities and towns across Canada.

The database of ground-level panoramic photographs now offers images from streets and highways in every province and territory except Labrador and Nunavut, including most of the Trans-Canada Highway system.

The update announced Tuesday also added ski runs in Whistler, B.C., and other Olympic venues. Those images were taken using a new vehicle — the Google Street View snowmobile — following in the trail of the car- and trike-mounted cameras.

Google Canada said the service added more than 130 Canadian towns and cities Tuesday.

"Street View in Google Maps is about showing people places they might never otherwise experience, and helping them plan journeys, so we hope it will continue to help boost tourism, heritage, real estate, education and everyday discovery," said Jonathan Lister, managing director and head of Google Canada, in a statement.

Google Street View came to Canada in October 2009 with coverage in most major cities, and added nine more cities in December. The online service provides a 360-degree ground-level view compiled from photos taken by Google. The company has been collecting images of Canadian cities since 2007, using vehicles mounted with specialized multi-camera GPS technology.

The street-level view can be accessed from Google Maps by clicking on the small orange figure that appears above the zoom control and dropping it on the map. The "peg man" figure changes to a skiier when you're viewing the slopes of Whistler.

Street View arrived in Norway and Finland with Tuesday's update, which also expanded and updated coverage in Alaska, Illinois, the U.K. and Mexico.

The service first launched in the United States in 2007 and now covers much of the inhabited area of North America, 11 European countries, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Google says it blurs people's faces and licence plates to allay privacy concerns.