18 October 2018

Kenya Finally Gets Google Street View

Kenya has finally joined 45 countries and a number of metropolitan areas around the globe where Google has launched its popular Street View map service.

The feature allows one to explore and navigate a neighbourhood virtually through panoramic street-level images.

The announcement was made on Monday at the first Google for Kenya, where the company outlined its strategy and commitment to contribute to the country's economic and social growth.

Google launched Street View in Kenya with 9,500 kilometres of beautiful imagery of Nairobi, Mombasa, Eldoret, Nakuru, Nyeri and Malindi available on Google Maps and accessible to everyone around the world.

Kenya's Minister for Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala attended the launch event in Nairobi and said the map service would help the country's tourism industry.

"Google Street View will bring Kenya to the world by enabling a global audience to virtually explore our cities, other urban centres and other places of interest and also bring the world to Kenya by whetting a user's appetite to physically visit a place of interest that they have experienced virtually.

"By virtually or physically visiting Kenya's leading tourist attractions, we will inspire people around the world to gain a deeper appreciation for Kenya, its people, the natural landscape, and the wildlife that inhabits it so that they can visit and also support the preservation of this natural heritage," said the CS.


Google added that it was launching its Street View service in Kenya for the first time, allowing users to virtually explore the country via images of streets, cities, and parks with a single click. It will feature main cities, roads and heavily visited places such as Masai Mara and other tourist destinations.

"Users on Google are keen on Kenya whether to visit or just for curiosity. They want to know more about the scenery and the wildlife," said Mr Albertson.

Street View is a great example of Google products that enhance the way individuals and communities search for and interact with information.

It offers a 360-degree image of a street or area and made a mini debut in Kenya in 2015 when Samburu National Reserve was added on to the map feature.

Google Street View is a technology featured in Google Maps and Google Earth that provides extensive views from various streets in the world. It was launched in several cities in the United States in 2007 but it has grown and now includes cities and rural areas worldwide. Blue lines on Google Maps indicate that Street View imagery on that section is available.

Google Street View displays sweeping views of stitched images and most of the photography is done by car, but some is done by trekker, tricycle, walking, boat, snowmobile, and underwater apparatus.

In Africa, only Egypt and countries in the southern part of Africa have had their landmarks photographed and added to Google Street View.


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