back to article El Reg nails Street View spycars to Google Maps

Well, we at El Reg have decided we've had quite enough of Google's Orwellian Street View fleet - coming over here, invading our privacy, burning our petrol, and so forth - so we decided to nail the blighters to the search monolith's own Google Maps. Yup, it's uninhibited Web 0.2, and no messing: View the Map (opens in a new …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Watching the watchers! Good on yers!

    Not that I've a problem with these particular snapshooters. What else should El Reg be tracking? CCTV? ANPR cameras...?

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Black cars?

    Do you think they chose black cars so they wouldn't stand out?

  3. Chris Collins

    No pic

    I failed to take a picture of the spycar when I saw it. It would have involved running after it, and I would have been immortalised looking like a dork.

  4. Stuart Harrison
    Black Helicopters

    Re: Black Cars?

    Even Google can't afford Black Helicopters

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    New sport

    Rather than have people bleating about privacy and not wanting to appear in Street View, how long'll it be before some nutters turn it into a sport (after picking a highly distinctive outfit) to appear in as many pictures as possible?

    Or else, some tw*ts will use a household brand of auction site to sell their services (?!?!) holding adverts up everytime they're passed by a Google SV car.

    Maybe this will keep the ne'er-do-wells off the can't-sing / can't-act / can't-integrate-into-society sort of crap TV we've suffered for way too many years.......

  6. Anonymous Coward


    these cars cannot be legal. That camera pod on the roof will become a lethal projectile in an accident and then Google is going to have to spend a few of it's millions in court fees and compensation.

  7. Nic

    Am I the only one

    who thought the Street View thingamy was quite nifty?

    If by some freak incident my mush ended up on one I can't imagine crying myself to sleep.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Stand out!!

    Well the black car bit would be ok but the 5ft Camera on the roof might be a bit of a giveaway, they would be better with a fleet of pope mobiles.

  9. c price
    Black Helicopters

    A title is required.

    Black cars, black helicopters, they are all the same.

    Here's a competion suggestion - a stack of El Reg goodies to the first person to find a picture of themselves taking a picture of the google spy cars on street view? (Something to do whilst looking for bulgarian airbag snaps anyway.....)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    We'll stay vigilant

  11. Chris

    Thanks for sharing your other maps too


  12. anarchic-teapot


    You can add Toulouse, France; my daughter spotted one the other day.

  13. pctechxp

    I wonder if...

    one passed an inidividual with a placard that said f**k off Google whether that particular part of the street/house would be left out?

  14. Mark Casey

    Spotted in Leeds

    I spotted one of the cars today in Leeds, it was driving past the big NHS building. It didn't appear to be taking any pictures though as the camera was covered up and the big pole thing was lowered.

    It was identical to this:

    Except as mentioned the camera bit was lower.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Bristol car in Stokes Croft.

    I'll look forward to google giving us Hi-res pictures of all the winos, crack addicts, whores, whore-users and trustafarians in Stokes Croft. Money well spent.

  16. Simon Hudson
    Black Helicopters

    re: Black cars

    Can you imagine trying to get a helicopter between all the lamp posts?

  17. Andy Gibson
    Thumb Up

    Black is the new white!

    "Do you think they chose black cars so they wouldn't stand out?"

    Perhaps they figured white cars with the Google logo sprawled across them was a little too high profile so they went with the very stealth black paint and technological gubbins covered with a bin liner instead. :)

  18. Jonathan Schofield

    Also in Leeds last week

    I also saw it in Leeds going up Scotthall Road towards Harrogate. I successfully cut it up with a natty overtaking manoeuvre near the two way speed camera.

    Does this mean that I can be googled?

  19. Alex

    Seen it only today..

    I saw it on Deansgate in Manchester about 1:30pm today. No picture, but it defintely was there shilst I was crossing the road just before Waterstones!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Got snapped yesterday on Ducie Street in Manchester. Unfortunately I was staring dozily into space whilst on a cig break outside work.

  21. J Alam
    Paris Hilton


    i think because they used an everyday car (vauxhall astra..the same one the police use) they would blend in...

    Paris..because she knows about geting spied on

  22. Neil

    They're in Sheffield too!

    Spotted by Plusnet staff:

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Is that a bin bag?

    In that case, WTF are these cars for?

    Clearly they're working on some sort of non-visible wavelength that'll cause cancer and kill our kids. It's called "TerrorHurts" radiation for a reason, people! And it's radiation so it's evil!

    Skull and crossbow because someone will die if these rotters aren't left unchecked. Think of the children!

  24. Dan White

    Bristol sighting.

    Good grief, of all the places to take your expensive camera equipment, Stokes Croft in Bristol is not it!

    I wonder if the street view footage will just show a pack of hoodies approaching with a socket set :-)

  25. jai


    i'm surprised no one's tried streaking alongside these cars yet

  26. Anonymous Coward

    re: Bristol Sighting


    crack addict 1:"this stuff's good - I can see things growing out of the cars"

    crack addict 2:"AAARRRRGGGH! WOOF! BuggritMilenniumhandandshrimp."

  27. Patch Tuesday

    No Pic

    saw it on King Edward Street, Liverpool earlier today.

    heading north, so towards Sefton, where Duncan Reid snapped it.

  28. James Delaney

    Re: Stand out!!

    I'd love to see a fleet of popemobiles driving around our towns and cities.

  29. Chris Harden

    There is somthing slightly sick about this....

    Spying on the spy car using its own tools....

  30. Andy Taylor

    Spotted in Milton Keynes

    I saw one in Milton Keynes the other day.

  31. Joshua Murray


    I saw one today near the train station in Sheffield at about 09:30. Driving up and down a dead-end street.

    Black car, Google Logo on the side, HUGE great camera pod on top!

    Wonder if I'll have been photographed!

  32. Joey Y

    @Chris Harden

    That is what I love about Google is that you can use their tools on them. Had it been the government (especially here in the freedom-hating USA) with cars/cameras, you would have at least gotten added to the Terrorist Watch List just for noting where the cameracars were.

    In fact, I bet Google is aware of the fact that people are tracking its cars. I think it would be interesting if, for example, they were to add GPS devices in the cars and have a real-time/frequently updated map showing their locations. (Even better, being able to track a car in your area and seeing the picture feed to make sure your thong/swimming pool does not appear.)

  33. brainwrong


    Am I the only person who thinks google maps is a bit shit? It's slow, it's sqished into a corner of the screen, keeps crashing, and your inclusion of it in your web page means the 'back' button doesn't work.

    Wikimapia on firefox (the only thing firefox is good for) is the dogs bollocks. It's fast, fills the whole browser window, and has information about places.

  34. HogRoast
    Black Helicopters

    Why bother?

    Could have saved themselves a fortune in petrol by using the UK's comprehensive CCTV network. Real time feed too...

  35. Anonymous Coward

    its all a US government ploy

    yeh yeh, google this, google that.

    theres only one aim.

    to find Bin Laden.

  36. Tom Scrace

    This seems like a contradiction

    Am I the only one who sees an inconsistency in El Reg's positions here? One day you are railing against restrictions on public photography, and the next you are complaining that somebody is taking public photographs. One does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy when out in public. I fail to see the harm that could result from this service.

  37. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    They are black because ...

    ... no-one has yet paid the advertising costs.

    Promise to pay them a dollar each time Google says someone saw the camcar, and they will paint a vulture on the side. Google will track the number of people who saw the advert with subliminal images that hypnotise pedestrians into texting 'I saw the vulture car' to Google.

  38. Jaded CTO
    Thumb Up

    Am i the only one thinking..

    Get out the stinger ! (the tyre deflation device not the missile.. that'd be harsh even for Google)

  39. BRYN

    Spotted in Liverpool

    I saw one yesterday in Liverpool going south along The Strand towards Wapping, It was passing Canning Place police station.

    Didn't have a camera with me though :-(

  40. Adam Foxton


    What browser are you using to use Google Maps? I use Firefox and I've got it so that the entire area of the window that shows webpages (probably 2/3, 3/4 of the screen) is covered. Hardly squashed into a corner. Sounds like the browser you're using isn't as good as the apparently pretty useless Firefox...

    You can get rid of the sidebar using the small "collapse sidebar" arrow, widening 'maps out to the whole screen-width.

    Google maps is great. Not quite as awesome as Google Earth with its terrain mapping and vast quantities of other data, but still great!

  41. Alan Fisher
    Black Helicopters

    Greedy people

    It's just mad American people (mainly; not all American people are mad, i'm married to one but whether that means she IS mad or not I can't say..) who are feeling left out at not having anything to sue somebody for........I do think all this privacy stuff is hilarious...I agree with the guy who mentioned appearing in loud outfits across the world in's be called GoogleSpoogle or GoogleFroodle something like that....(oh, before that catches on, I'll mail myself a printout in triplicate so I can sue anyone who uses that without askin me first lol)...I'd spend ages looking for me or someone I know for my amusement when I'm bored

  42. multipharious

    They are sure taking a long time to upload!

    I saw one of them here in Munich (gawked really since I knew what it was), and I am eager to see my blurred face and moronic expression of, "Hey that is..."

    Looks like Google is going to have a little bit of a privacy issue here though. And likely a bit of a fight.

  43. joe K

    Spotted in Hull

    Spotted one in Hull city center on the morning of Sunday 13th July. Didnt have the time to snap it though.

  44. Absolute Cynic

    Spotted in Aberdeen

    Just saw one 10 minutes ago. It went 1 and 1/2 times round a mini roundabout.

    How many of these things are there? What is the collective noun - plague, infestation?

  45. Banfa


    But Wikimapia is powered by Google Maps

  46. Duncan

    Shared Map? Where's my tinfoil?


    The shared map that Chris refers to is just round the corner from my office.

    Perhaps it's not a StreetView car after all but a clandestine surveillance team from El Reg HQ keeping tabs on me...

    Am I right to be paranoid? Have I got enough tinfoil?

  47. AC

    can I have your job?

    you guys have the best job in the world.

    "ok I'm bored and got nothing to do, I know I'll pin sightings of google cars on google maps"

    if only I had such an easy and fun job :P

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sent my Pics..

    In Nottingham Today...

    Noticed it has 3 laser range scanners mounted on the post too.. Google must be planning on going 3D!


  49. Andy Brown

    @ Jaded CTO

    What do you mean "not the missile"? Surely that'd be one of the best uses for a Stinger, and it'd rather dramatically demonstrate what people think about the potential invasions of privacy from this :)

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    A TiTle is required

    How long before google add a live track map? right back at ya!

  51. Simon Hunter

    Google van

    Spotted yesterday, Tuesday 15th July on the Malone Road, Belfast at 11.45.,-5.947208&spn=0.008969,0.018797&z=16

    Ordinary looking car with 'Google' on it, and black support infrastructure for the cameras

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Won't be long before the hoodies nick it...

    I've spotted a car parked in a drive in the saff side of London for days - Brittania Close in Clapham.,-0.132457&spn=0.000262,0.000564&t=h&z=21

  53. Jeffrey Nonken

    Spotted this pic yesterday...

    ...thought I'd share. Enjoy.

  54. Stevie


    Can't you tell the difference between a relatively harmless camera array and a psychotronic mind-control transmitter?

    The CIA are nothing compared to the Google Applied Psychotronics laboratory. For years G.A.P. labs have hidden their secret research facilities in plain site, disguised as yuppie clothing stores. Now they have become even more blatent in their quest for world domination.

    I need more foil. We ALL need more foil.

  55. james


    I'll gladly jump up and down infront of one with a 5ftx5ft reg logo if they'll provide a tshirt and mug combo for it ;-)

  56. Angus Ireland

    How about...

    How about you give us all free Reg T-Shirts and vulture masks so that when we appear on the maps you'll know where we live.

    Wait that's a bad idea...

    Mine's the one with the stolen spycar keys in the pocket

  57. JT2008
    Dead Vulture

    @Jonathan Schofield

    "Does this mean that I can be googled?"

    Yes ...but the real question is, will you like being googled?

  58. Anonymous Coward

    @Chris Collins

    But if you had run after it then you could appear in two places at once -- a bit like those old school photographs where you could be at one end and then run down to the other and appear twice.

  59. Anonymous Coward

    You whiners

    If you had any balls, you'd have people follow those google cars to ascertain the driver's identities, then post the names and home addresses of the people working for Google who are driving those blights upon humanity.

  60. This post has been deleted by its author

  61. Ginger


    What's so bloody great about Norwich?

  62. Steve Mann

    @ Ginger

    Unless it has radically changed since I lived there:

    A pub for every day of the year, for starters.

  63. darren

    Be CAREFUL!!!

    Ive seen one in clapham too! Have you seen the guy driving it????? Wouldnt wanna give him my opinions on what i thought about their project!! Might end up with that camera in my *$#?£!!!

  64. Matt Crerar
    Black Helicopters

    spotted but no pic

    Saw the black car that has been spotted already in Glasgow and elsewhere in Scotland on Cumbernauld Road in eastend ay 14:45. Was just past the junction next to Duke Street train station. Drove right past it so couldn't take a pic I'm afraid. This is sort of spooky isn't it?,-4.064941&sspn=11.406319,27.246094&ie=UTF8&ll=55.857925,-4.213858&spn=0.010574,0.026608&z=15

  65. Dave
    Paris Hilton

    Unlike the Daily Mail

    I don't have a problem with this. It sure as hell gives me a metaphorical stick to beat PCSO numpties over the head when I want to do some street photography.

    I'm waiting patiently for them to go down my street so I can go goatse on 'em

    (Google THAT one! Daily mail)

    Paris? Well from that angle......

  66. Ross Ryles

    France Online

    Don't know if this is new or not - Street View now has content on line covering various bits of France. It looks like they've blurred faces and number plates.

  67. Anonymous Coward


    Seen one parked up and camera covered in Bolsover, Derbyshire at about 8pm Wednesday night. Do you think i could have found a nest?

  68. Anonymous Coward

    Taking photos in public...

    is not illegal and NEVER should be.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Taking photos in public...

    Surely you can see the difference between a member of the public taking half a dozen photos for there own private use and Google taking millions of photos and publishing them worldwide for commercial gain?

    It's not the taking of the photos that worries me - it's what they do with them afterwards.

  70. Angela Taylor

    Google street camera

    just seen in Victoria Road Rutherglen Glasgow G73 about 20 mins ago.

    not time to grab camera - but it was definitely it .

  71. John


    If they come round here, they'll be able to see right into my front room.

  72. Richard

    South Wales

    Seen on Monday 21/7 at NP19 7FW - outside Boots. Checking on your pharmaceutical needs, perhaps?

  73. Rukario
    Black Helicopters


    Saw one in North Queen Street earlier this week in Belfast. Tried to take a picture but I was on too much of an angle to get it. It was black, and it had the Google logo on the side.

  74. Robert Owen
    Black Helicopters

    Google Street view -- another sighting

    Spotted the Google street spies in my road -- in Crosby , Liverpool -- didn't have time for a pic ( why can you never find a camera when you want one !)


  75. Martin
    Paris Hilton

    Spotted in Coventry

    2 identical camera cars, both in the immediate area of Foleshill Road

    /Paris, because she needs to be sent to Coventry

  76. Ed

    Just spotted...

    A sleeping car down the road from me in Notting Hill, London. Picture taken and emailed in :)

This topic is closed for new posts.