Indian government says no to Google Street View

Illustration by Alex Castro  The Verge

Illustration by Alex Castro The Verge

Finally, for the 2 time now, the Indian government has rejected Google's Street View service in India as stated by Hansraj Gangaram Ahir the minister of state for home affairs.

Google Street View allows its users to explore the world in a 360-degree panoramic street imagery of public areas as well.

As told by Ahir while replying to a written question regarding this matter, a proposal was submitted to the Lok Sabha back in July 2015 for review and to allow Google Street View permission to cover the streets of India. But given the presence of WoNoBo and Nakshe, the government's reluctance to approve Google's Street View plans doesn't make much sense.

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But this brings us to an odd double standard that the Indian government appears to be exhibiting - despite similar regulatory roadblocks from the government, WoNoBo, a competing Street View-like service, has been fully operational in many major cities in the country since late 2013.

A person can not keep a constant check on the Google Street View for any unwanted images of them and even more than that it is hard to track user-contributed images.

Besides the controversy over Street View, Delhi High Court also expressed concern about "sensitive" locations such as defence installations and nuclear power plants being visible on the online map in January. The countries have benefitted too from its use.

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New language options will be available in the Google Maps app on both Android and iOS, as well as to desktop users. On an experimental basis, tourist sites like the Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Mysore Palace and Nalanda University among others, could be documented in partnership with the Archaeological Society of India (ASI).

The reasons behind India's rejection of Google Street View though seem uncertain and are largely unknown.

The parliament at the time was also aiming to push a bill - the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill (GIRB) - that would serve to fine and imprison those who published unauthorized map data on the internet.

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