PEOPLE, streets and businesses in St Neots have been caught on camera and the images could soon be posted online for millions to see. Last week eagle-eyed residents in St Neots and Eaton Socon spotted the camera vans which are used by Google to capture i
PEOPLE, streets and businesses in St Neots have been caught on camera and the images could soon be posted online for millions to see.
Last week eagle-eyed residents in St Neots and Eaton Socon spotted the camera vans which are used by Google to capture images for its controversial Street View tool.
The firm said that the panoramic images of the town and the Eatons could be online "within months".
The new website was launched in April and has already gone live in 25 British towns. It allows people to view 360 degree, street-level imagery and take a virtual walk around a town.
But it has not been welcomed by all with people claiming it invade privacy - Greece banned the cameras and Beetles legend Sir Paul McCarty insisted images of his home were removed from the database.
Leader of St Neots Town Council, Cllr Julia Hayward, spotted a Google van on Friday (June 5) by KFC in Great North Road at 7.30am and Nelson Road at 9am.
She said: "My feeling is, as long as they stick to their promises to disguise personally identifying information, and the resulting images remain open to everyone at no cost, then I'm all in favour of it."
She added: "As a one-off snapsnot it's a wonderful resource for historians, planners and anyone interested in St Neots. And it's nothing you couldn't see by travelling around public areas."
However, the Mayor of St Neots, Cllr Gordon Thorpe, disagreed saying he felt it was an erosion of people's rights.
Cllr Thorpe said: "I do not see the need for it. Two dimensional maps are quite sufficient. It could be considered a further erosion of our traditional right to privacy."
Images of people captured by Google are blurred so faces cannot be recognised. The same blurring is applied to vehicle number plates.
A spokesman for Google said as the van had been seen in St Neots it is likely the images would be used, but could take some time to process.
She said: "We are still driving around the country collecting pictures so that we can get the next wave of images onto Street View. It can take several months for the images to be taken from the van and technically stitched together ready to go online."
She added that she was unsure if they would be visiting any other Huntingdonshire villages or towns but they were "working hard to visit new areas.