Google's Street View makes Israel debut
Long awaited virtual tour service now available in Israel with exceptions – no identifying details or footage of sensitive security facilities
Feel like visiting the Wailing Wall? Or perhaps Tel Aviv's
sandy beaches? Well, now you can and all without even stepping a foot outside – thanks to Google.
On Sunday, Google will officially announce the activation of its Street View virtual tour service in Israel, though it has already been available to viewers over the weekend.
The service, which is already available in over 30 countries, enables users to "drive" down city streets and tourist attractions and view images of houses, parks and notable sites from 360 degree angles.
At this stage the service in Israel mainly covers Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem – but major sites in other cities are also available. Google vehicles fitted with cameras have been touring Israel's streets since September.
The company received government permission to capture the images on the condition that it would not cover sensitive security facilities and would blur identifying details of passersby: Faces, license plates and billboards.
How do you use Street View? Go to maps.google.co.il, "drag" the icon of the yellow man on the left side of the screen to the street you want to visit. The streets available in Street View will be marked in blue.
Another option is to enter the complete address and then click "Street View" on the side of the screen. After launching the panoramic view you can then "tour" the location by using the mouse or the arrows on your keyboard.