For fans of Google’s Street View interested in observing the streets of Jerusalem, your wish has finally come true. Israeli security officials have given the okay for Google to launched Street View service in the three largest cities there. According to news from Google’s official blog, the Internet giant is also working with Access Israel, to help make Israel more accessible for people with disabilities too. The organization will now embed Street View into their accessibility mapping project of Israeli.
For those marooned with Tom Hanks in Castaway, Google Street View affords users an up close and personal look onto places on our planet Earth. As for the Street View Israel initiative, the variant there will provides images of ordinary life, contested areas as well as religious sites in the Holy Land, for all to see. Of course, security issues for some areas have proven a difficult hurdles to overcoming in allowing Google access. Military headquarters, key official addresses, and etc, will now be blurred accordingly, but figuring out how to get around these and other issues was the rub, concerns over terroristic attacks being the key obstruction, apparently those concerns have now been ironed out.
The image below is a screenshot I took while exploring around the Israel Museum, this is a great vantage point to look out over the city. I can tell you already, your impression of what Jerusalem, perhaps all Israel is like will be altered once you Google about these streets. Green and beautiful are predominant motifs, but some slums and less attractive views are there as well. This is my first honest view of the fabled place.
Interestingly, Israel now becomes the first country in the Middle East to display her streets and so forth via Google Street. The Israeli government’s deal with Google led to a fairly quiet launch of the service yesterday. Surprisingly, some Israeli’s failed to share Google’s enthusiasm for the project launch. Bloomberg Businessweek, reporting from Tel Aviv, tells of Lt. Col. Mordechai Kedar, a retired Israeli intelligence officer, advising that the new service may be advantageous to militants.
Meanwhile, people interested in remote discovery of the Holy Land’s most holy cities can venture far afield in Googling the narrow streets of Jerusalem’s 4 quarters, an a lot more. Walk virtually down the Via Dolorosa and look into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Western Wall and the Mount of Olives, even visit the Israel Museum and Yad Vashem, the holocaust museum. Despite the negatives, one has to be optimistic about the world becoming more aware of these wondrous places. Google has helped raise the bar of discovery a lot via such tools, this writer cann0t wait to test Google Street Israel.
We leave you with video from Google and the new project.