The idea was there, but the execution was poor; execution is what matters.
Still I thought it was cool, and even took a bunch of photos (Digital, brand new Sony Mavica writing to CDRs in the camera) of the walk from the station, duplicating what I saw before setting out.
I am not sure how much they have rolled out, but Microsoft has been much more innovative in presenting Street-View-style imagery, e.g., using linear panoramas along a street instead of a series of spherical panoramas.
Google Earth is PATHETIC right now, sparse hand made badly textured blocky models of few selected buildings in a capital of European country? Really Google?
I sure hope they have a group inside google working on this already.
> So in theory, we should have just grabbed the header. However, a single wrong line in the configuration file caused us to grab the packet payload too. Had we ever audited the data on the disks, we would have found the bug and fixed it, but... nobody ever noticed. Oops.
That is Google's official opinion of the story.
Some european countries (Germany, Austria) bag to differ. Google captured all WiFi data (unencrypted & encrypted). As a result of the war-driving (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_driving ) Google StreetView cars were banned in these countries (Google had to delete the harddrives) and as a result there is a huge empty spot on the StreetView coverage in central Europe (only a few cities in Germany, no street coverage at all in Austria): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Street_View_in_Europe#Co... . Some attacked the car: http://www.austriantimes.at/news/General_News/2010-04-08/223...
one of many news articles about this issue on heise.de (German): http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Datenschuetzer-Street...
Google promised to delete the captured WiFi data but failed to do so: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/9432518/Google-... , official letter: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/9432552/Google-...
They screwed up (twice, if you count failing to delete the data) and thats a serious matter. But deliberately wardriving entire countries? Hard to believe.
I think it is now, but if we go back to 2007/2008, it might not have been.
And it might not even have been malicious - the Google engineers doing it might have said, "Hey look, if x amount of wifi data is good, X amount has got to be even better!". After all, they're data junkies, and might have decided to capture chunks of data wholesale with the best intentions (and maybe not even any clear ideas of how to use it).
I'm not trying to justify their actions, just trying to posit a scenario where Google did intentionally capture wifi payloads without requiring that they had a malicious purpose to do so.
> Down until I'm done talking to Google about this post.
It seems like a lot of the low level problems were already solved by commercial camera makers many years before.
Even today with the R7, why not just bolt together Gopros and manually set the Aperture, ISO and shutter speed. You'd get better quality images, waterproof cameras and they'd be significantly cheaper.
It's a shame to see a talented engineer distort the truth about Wifi packet collection, especially after Google were shown to have acted deliberatly (rather than "a single wrong line in the configuration file") source: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/new...
I'm wondering what, if anything, that statement has to do with the Skybox acquisition, or if the two are previously-unrelated parts of an overarching aerial imaging plan.
Google is so far ahead of others in mapping it is downright scary.
I read somewhere speculation that Apple's iBeacon could be used to create precise indoor maps of public or semi-public spaces. But then I read about Project Tango, and wonder...
it has what they call birds eye view
it is a mix from street view and satelite. pictures taken form low flying planes at a angle. and it can be rotated.
you can get a sense of the neighborhood location you are looking at AND see the buildings on the street.
i saw it the first time by mistake. i was also in google reality distortion field. when i got a hp touchpad to install android, but while using the palmos maps, i was greeted with that pleasant surprise.
What an excitement it must have been to work on such a project! Thanks for sharing.
Some of us are working on fixing that.
But they, as far as I know, are not connected to Mapbox or to the OpenStreetMap project (Your phrasing groups those two things more than I would).
Here (the former Navteq, part of the Nokia that isn't part of Microsoft) is probably running the second biggest street level photography project.