Indian government has refused Google’s proposal to roll-out its “Street View” service in India, Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said on Tuesday.
Google Street View is an application through which one can explore public areas, cities, tourist spots, hills and rivers using 360-degree panoramic and street-level imagery.
Union minister of state for home Hansraj said Google had submitted a proposal on the Google Street View for the government’s permission in July 2015 but the government has not agreed to the proposal. Hansraj was replying to a written question asked by Balasubramaniam Senguttuvan, a member from Vellore in Tamil Nadu.
While Google’s steet view service has been extensively used in the US, Canada and many European countries, its application in India was initially permitted for a few locations.
Notably, Google launched its Street View service in Bengaluru in 2011 to collect street-level imagery but was soon asked by local authorities to stop the service citing security reasons.
A Quint report states that while the government said no to Google’s proposal for Street View, possible for security and privacy reasons, there is one similar app in India called Wonobo.com. In 2013, Mumbai based Genesys has launched Wonobo, a 360 degree street view website, in partnership with India’s Tourism Ministry.
In 2008, a startup from Pune – Driveme.in did tried its hands to develop a similar street-view app, which used to let its users view the streets with driving like experiences and let them share, find and explore their favorite places online. However the startup had to shut down eventually.
In the same year, one more Indian startup Mapunity, a GIS/ MIS and mobile based technology company provided a ‘real time’ traffic details in form of maps but this too had to eventually change its model to something else but not street-view.
In 2015, Google joined hands with the Archaeological Survey of India to bring 31 historical monuments and sites online and offer panoramic views. It then launched street view for the Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Varanasi river bank, Nalanda University, Mysore Palace, Thanjavur temple and Chinnaswamy stadium.
Launched in 2007, Google Street View is currently present in more than 82 countries across the globe, which have benefited from it in terms of tourism and other aspects.
The above news was first reported in Economic Times.