back to article Street View snooptrike stalks Siena

A couple of months back, the Vulture Central Street View Monitoring Bureau got word that the Great Satan of Mountain View had neatly circumvented the problem of capturing pedestrianised urban areas with its all-seeing eye by deploying a fleet of sinister snooptrikes. We're obliged then to reader Andrew Porrer, who was able to …


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  1. Tom Clark
    Thumb Up

    i see

    El Reg's face-blurring technology works on Google's logo too!

    top job!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I seen a google car...

    in Chester last weekend.

  3. Samuel Williams


    Wouldn't fancy carrying that up a fight of steps.

  4. Tim 30

    How not to be discrete

    By driving an Italian car (note the I on the registration plate) car in Greece.

    I wonder what everyone was looking at, I hate that kind of holiday snap, you get the feeling something interesting is going on just off camera.

  5. David Bird


    So Google circumvent the problem of capturing pedestrianised urban areas by deploying a wheeled vehicle? Assuming bicycles are allowed in these pedestrianised areas anybody spotting the trike should cycle along side and with luck appear in evey shot (ideally with gestures).

  6. Robert Marshall

    surely it's not ice cream vendor?

  7. David S

    Nice to see Peter Andre back at work again.

    isn't it?

  8. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    @Samuel Williams

    A fight of steps? I know a man who had a fight with some steps in a police station.

  9. Sacha TF Padovani
    Big Brother

    Must get out more

    I live in the bloody place, and haven't seen the dratted thing. So, luckily, I won't have been snapped. A friend, though, tells me she's seen it, and the guy manning the camera was giving a helping hand-and-leg to the pedal-guy, pushing the contraption up Siena's steep streets.

    I guess Google's trike-View propulsion devices aren't sourced from the same pool as the Astana cycling team..

  10. Annihilator


    I'm sorry, is a bike/trike considered a pedestrian these days??

  11. Neil 57


    How do I add where I have seen the astra? do I need the pic of it, or just where I saw it.

  12. Lionel Baden

    i got a pic of a orwellian car

    in horsham a few weeks back

    Will post as soon as they add it to google maps

  13. Dave White

    The thing that pisses me off..

    ... is that the Google camera car was seen in Munich as far back as early 2008, and the damn product STILL isn't available here.

  14. Rob

    Google have made it eaiser

    to steal alot of expensive kit, they might have well stuck it on a moped and given it some pizza delivery logos to make theft an absolute certainty.

  15. Dale 3

    @David Bird

    He could get off and push in the pedestrianised areas.

  16. Yorkshirepudding
    Big Brother

    How Long before

    a mobile headgear version starts knocking on your door for tea and crumpets?

  17. Colin Barfoot


    ...and did the ice creams come in four flavours?

  18. Ivan Headache


    "I'm sorry, is a bike/trike considered a pedestrian these days??"

    Considering the way those rickshaw riders in the west-end behave, then they must be!

  19. Ian Ferguson
    Black Helicopters


    I wonder what'll happen when they drive past an airport!

  20. Andy ORourke

    @ Pedestrianised

    You do know that cycles are allowed to ride anywhere they choose, ignore any laws of the road and dont need any insurance or respect for basic politeness dont you?

  21. Jacqui Smith's DVD Collection!

    @ anti bike comments

    Get over it, bikes have been around for a very long time...

    It doesn't look like they will be speeding along with that array of cameras on there.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not that I'm advocating anything...

    But given its so much lower, and slower it must be a much better target for nobbling.

    Image the effect of getting anything on the camera lenses. The poor sod would have to go out and cycle all up and down again.

    Equally, strategically placed pedestrians could force it to take zig paths through the streets.

    answers on a postcard.....

  23. M A Walters


    Good point - and a good one!!

  24. Random Coolzip


    "I know a man who had a fight with some steps in a police station."

    I understand steps have been taken to prevent that happening again.

  25. Mark Flingstone

    @Jacqui Smith: bikes are fine, now can we get rid of some bikers?

    I feel you'd like to know that I'm not against bikes, I'm against *some* bikers, esp. when they use a mobile phone, jumping red lights and raising middle fingers when you horn.

    I acknowledge I may be biased. Maybe I am just plain jealous. So feel free to say I'm a moron or whatever while you cycle away.

  26. Andrew Robinson


    My spot in Gateshead has been added to the map, clumsily taking following the Opel snapping an iPhone pic whilst driving. All legally and safely, of course.

  27. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    @Mark Flingstone

    "raising middle fingers when you horn"

    The horn is to be used *only* to warn other road users of your presence. Sounds like you're using it in retribution, which is of course illegal and fucking irritating. Let he who is without sin fling the first stone and all that.

    As a motorist, motorcyclist, cyclist and pedestrian (natch) I find the media fuelled anti-cyclist furrore quite amusing, mainly because all the vitriol seems to come from motorists. Car drivers are by far the most arrogant, annoying and dangerous road users. I would say dangerous, illegal and arrogant behaviour from car drivers outnumbers other road users about 1,000 to 1. Of course that's perfectly acceptable because car drivers apparently own the roads.

    In the village where I live today I've seen car drivers speeding, running red lights, going against the give way signs, mounting pavements to get past right turners, passing parked cars into oncoming traffic, parking on yellows, parking in bus stops, parking on junctions and generally behaving like complete twats. However my experience of most car drivers is that they would all think their driving was completely justified by the fact that they were in a hurry, so that's all right then.

    To be entirely fair I saw one motorcyclist clearly speeding, one truck driver ignoring a weight limit and a cyclist on the pavement.

    In the interests of balance though I think horse riders are worse than car drivers.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I wish google would just feck off

    is it just me or do other people think this is

    1. pointless (unless your a terrorist or a crim)

    2. em, same as 1.

    Who actually uses this crap? What exactly is the point?

    Ooh I can see my house, oh how fab.

    If they showed the prossers in Amsterdam windows then it might be interesting, but no.

    Feck off google, if I see you around here taking pics of my home.... baxturds

  29. Joe 3

    Re: I wish google would just feck off

    I wish you Daily Mail-reading credulous nitwits would fuck off, actually.

    I think Street View is great! They're creating a record of the world as it is, and in years to come it will be an unparalleled database of the world as it was.

    How exactly does Street View help terrorists?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sad but true...

    English law actually prohibits cyclists crossing the road at pedestrian crossings unless you are carrying your bicycle; the law states you are not allowed to propel said "vehicle" across the crossing using muscle power.

    So even if you get off and wheel it across the crossing (and through Farnborough, Hampshire's "pedestrian, no cycling allowed" thoroughfare) you can be clobbered under the Road Traffic Act.

    I would like to extend my thanks once again to the nice policeman in the dayglow yellow hi-viz jacket and his erstwhile companion who informed me of this as I made my way to work through otherwise empty streets at 0630 one morning, and then cheerily waved when they saw me mid-afternoon a few days later... even while two little scrotes on 'bmx' bikes raced in and out of pedestrians laden with shopping bags about ten yards away. (And this was the days before Plastic Copper Support Officers too).

    Imagine how much more funlife would be if we /did/ have flying cars!

  31. Richard North

    Street Photography

    Of course, if you or I took such a comprehensive set of photographs in the UK, we'd soon end up with a couple of braindead Rozzers getting on our tits about 'taking pictures that might be useful to terrorists'... because of course terrorists don't have access to Google Streetview etc...

    The 'fail' tag is for our Police State, not for Google.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I notice that "operative"

    ... isn't looking where he is going.

    Maybe he's got a movie playing on that device?

    By the way.... in this part of the world (Southern India) the pedal cyclists are only average bad but many of the motor-cyclists drive like lobotomised morons.

  33. Andrew Davenport
    Paris Hilton

    @anonymous coward

    I totally agree that its pointless, not to mention that i am sure if Joe Public decided to go snapping all and sundry around our streets we would end up with a pretty quick injuction slapped upon us.

    Just because its Google does not make it right or justifiable, i am all for being able to live with a degree of anonymity but this kind of thing just keeps pushing towards intrusion into everyones daily lives!

    Paris because she likes a bit of intrusion now and again... allegedly

  34. Dan White

    @Grease Monkey

    As someone who is also a motorist, motorcyclist, cyclist and pedestrian, and who pays an extortionate amount of road tax, I'd like to point out that yes, motorists DO indeed literally own the roads. In fact road tax revenue and fuel duty covers the amount we spend on roads dozens of times over. If cyclists feel like chipping in towards the cost of maintainance, signage and lighting, and perhaps I'd be more sympathetic.

    "I would say dangerous, illegal and arrogant behaviour from car drivers outnumbers other road users about 1,000 to 1"

    Are you for real? Is your house in the middle of a stock car track? Perhaps you could consider that it's because car drivers actually outnumber other road users 1000 to 1. I commute into Bristol every day, and it's a rare day indeed where I don't see some cyclist on a suicide mission, running lights, swapping lanes and hopping onto the pavement at will. Granted there are also ditsy car drivers who do silly things, but it's the cyclists that *deliberately* ignore the law whenever they see fit.

  35. asiaseen

    @ Joe 3

    "How exactly does Street View help terrorists?"

    Saves them the bother of going out themselves and risking being stopped and searched because they're too tall/short/fat/thin or simply the wrong colour.

  36. Jeffrey Nonken

    Bicyclists etc.

    I live in Davis, CA, one of the most bike-friendly cities in the U.S.

    I've got issues with all sorts. I see pedestrians walking into intersections without bothering to look. I've nearly been run over by an automobile (as a pedestrian) when I clearly had the light and he clearly didn't. I've seen bicyclists riding on sidewalks when there were perfectly good bike lanes, and joggers seem to think that because they aren't walking, they're bicyclists (or automobiles). I know a guy who ended up in the hospital because he rounded a corner at speed on his bike and didn't see the jogger with his dog until too late. Wham! I don't get it. Why jog in the street? Too good for the sidewalk are you? Enjoy being a nuisance? Think you're being a rebel because you're breaking a traffic law and getting away with it?

    Saw some poor lady on a bike get nailed once by a car door. The kid was working on the door hinges or something, he was inside ducked down with the door shut. Suddenly sat up and swung the door open and she went right into it. Kid never actually said anything to the effect but I got the feeling he was sullen and resentful. How DARE this lady be riding her bike in the bike lane when he needed to do car repair/ Sheesh. (She was OK but a bit shaken up, I gave her a ride.)

    And we have a lot of soft curbs here. Lots of cars parked with one side up on the sidewalk. Or parked across the sidewalk in their driveways. Hey, I don't mind walking in the street when there's a perfectly good sidewalk there that I can't use because somebody is being selfish, but hey, there are people here with kids in strollers, not to mention people in wheelchairs.

    You know what it is? It's not bicyclists, or drivers, or pedestrians, or joggers, or motorcyclists, scooter drivers, nor even skateboarders. It's people. Go anywhere, pick a group of people, and you'll find some are unaware, unenlightened, ignorant, or just plain assholes.

  37. TheRealRoland

    Drivers in a hurry...

    Funny, in Chicagoland i'm experiencing the opposite..

    People start driving slower and slower, changing lanes without any indication (indicators, anyone?)... But that's alright, as long as they're on their cell phone.

    Not handsfree of course; although that would increase the multitasking a US driver is capable of... Now you have one hand for that burger/drink/makeup/trumpet/book, and the other for your phone. Everyone knows that steering is done using your knees.

    Anyways, it seems they're slowly running out of major streets they have to snap, since the GoogleCar has been going through our little town west of Chicago.

  38. Google StreetView
    Paris Hilton

    Canada embraces Google Maps (NOT)

    As an ex member of blighty now residing in Burlington, Ontario, I thought you would appreciate the utter disdain our youth have for GoogleStreet View.

    "Ernest, however, doesn’t find much amusement in the Street View feature.

    “My concern is nobody bothered to check with the individual; nobody checked with me to ask if (I’m) OK with this,” he said.


    Personally I look forward to scanning some of the windows of the wifeys from round my area

  39. Oli 1

    "car owners dont own the roads"

    no of course not, we just pay road tax to fund them.

    unlike the freetards on two wheels who will swerve out infront of a car doing 40mph then swear their head off nearly jumping through the car window!

    Bikes/Cyclists in general = FAIL

  40. Anonymous Coward

    I tought they'd finished spying in Cardiff.

    Spotted one of the cars again today, It was driving away from Tesco in Mynachdy with the camera down.

    Pity I didn't have time to get a picture.

    "freetards on two doing 40mph ......Bikes/Cyclists in general = FAIL"

    Cyclists arent stealing your right to drive like a blind,charging, hormonal rhino with anger problems.

    They just think that arsehole drivers who believe they own the road need to be shouted at.

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