European Union puts the thumbscrews on Google Street View maps

Google Street View
is probably one of the coolest mapping applications of the past decade (along with satellite images). I’ll regularly pull up a Street View map before I head to a destination I’ve never been to, and in most cases, the images make it much easier for me to navigate. I’ve even used it on my Google powered phone as a way to get an idea where I’m heading.

Sadly, the European Union isn’t as big a fan – their privacy laws are some of the strictest in the world, which is obviously great for privacy fans. but not so much for fans of Google Street View.

In a ruling last week, the EU has demanded that Google start deleting all uncensored Street View images after just 6 months (in Europe, Google has to blur all faces), and that Google has to start announcing in advance where their camera car will be filming.

The members of “The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party” want to see the announcements made on and in the local media.

Of course, these new measures may prove too problematic for Google, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Europeans find themselves without Street View images if the current plan doesn’t change.

Angry British mob chases Google out of their town

Here in the US we are used to being able to zoom in on street level images of anything in our area.

Google started mapping up and down our streets years ago, and it all happened with so little fanfare, that nobody really got the chance to complain.

Things are different in the UK, where residents are beginning to complain quite vocally about the privacy invasion caused by the ability to get up close and personal with just about anything, anywhere.

In the town of Milton Keynes, residents noticed the camera equipped Google car snapping photos of their homes, and decided it wasn’t going to happen.

The angry mob stopped just short of bringing their own pitchforks, but managed to block the driver, and then chase him away.

Of course, the whole thing could have been done to prevent anyone in the town showing up on Google doing something stupid.

Google Streetview comes to Europe – the good and the bad

Here in the US, we are used to having Google offer street level images of our country. Their cars have been driving around every town and city for several years, and have snapped millions of pictures.

On March 18th, Google enabled imagery of The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Italy. Of course, not every city has been fully mapped, but the new images do mean you can do some street-level research of your vacation destination before you leave.

Just like when the US images were released, people are working hard to find the most hilarious things the Google camera was able to snap. But this time, the people at Google are working harder than ever to remove anything that is remotely offensive. Sometimes just minutes after something funny is found, the Google technicians have removed it.

Which is of course why most sites make a screenshot of the image before linking to it! After the jump some of the most hilarious things found through Europe.

A word of warning though – these images may not be suitable for viewing at work, or when you have kids around.

A British gentleman throwing up his night of booze and curry.

Yes – this is the Netherlands, which means it was only a matter of time till someone located the local red light district.

Fingers crossed this guy is single, or that his significant other never figures out how to use Google maps.

Public urination – ugh

Junior pyromaniac.

I really don’t want to know what this man has planned for the evening.

Another working girl in The Netherlands.