Google’s web mapping service offers 360° panoramic views of streets, street maps, satellite imagery, real-time traffic conditions and route planning for travelling by foot, car, bicycle or public transport.
However, the data has to be periodically updated because our environment is constantly changing as some buildings change use or are knocked down to make way for brand new office blocks, homes and shops.
The Google Maps car, which features a high tech camera with 15 lenses mounted on the roof, covers the changing road network.
While less accessible areas such as pedestrianised streets are mapped by a person carrying a backpack incorporating a portable version of the camera.
Data analyst John Murray, of Queen’s Park, sent a photo of the Google car taken in St John Street, Chester, on Wednesday (May 23) at the junction with the inner ring road, close to the amphitheatre.
He posted on Twitter: “Look out #Chester, Google is watching you!”
The car and Google backpacker have been spotted around Chester before.
When the Google car parked up at Chester’s Greyhound Retail Park in April 2017 the driver was happy for a photo to be taken of the vehicle, but told our reporter to keep his distance, and was unable to say how often the Street View images were updated.
Google Street View attracted much controversy after its release because of privacy concerns about the uncensored nature of the panoramic photographs.
Since then, Google has begun blurring faces and number plates through automatic and face detection.
Google Maps’ satellite view is a ‘bird's eye’ view; most of the high-resolution imagery of cities is aerial photography taken from a low-flying aircraft, while most other imagery is from satellites.