The much-anticipated UK implementation of Google's Streetview technology happened this morning. Follow the link, zoom in on London, and drag the yellow man icon onto the map to get a 360 degree wraparound of the chosen location. We're finding it very difficult to post about this, because we just want to spend the morning playing with it.
The resolution and annotation are far superior to the first-to-market Seety. It's possible to read street signs, shop names and graffiti. Google Street View is also wider, imaging many of the towns in the UK rather than Seety's focus on London Zone 1. However, Seety scores higher on the small back streets and mews, many of which are missing from Google's London implementation. Indeed, because of traffic restrictions, you can't even get Oxford Street in Street View. Still, our online London lives have changed forever.
Of course, there'll be the usual grousing about privacy and security issues, a subject we've tackled before. The potential for mischief was brought home only a few days ago thanks to the conviction of a thief who used Google Earth to locate lead roof tiles, which he'd then pilfer. The promised face-blurring, to protect identities, is also a little dodgy, as this image outside Westminster Palace shows.
But for now, enjoy the sightseeing, and see if you can spot friends, family or celebrities about town. If you find anything particularly unusual in London, let us know in the comments or by email.