Google Street View coming to Bulgaria

Feb 27, 2012
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It looks like Bulgaria is the next country for Google’s team to photograph for its Street View project.  

A report from Novinite confirms that Google was given the go ahead to drive around the country collecting 360-degree images for its online map service. The Google Street View cars were even spotted photographing one of Sofia’s biggest tourist attractions last week.

While Google has extensively photographed the US and most of Western Europe,  so far the company has barely set foot in Europe’s more eastern provinces.  So far, Google Street View is currently limited to major cities in the Czech Republic and Romania (and a couple of museums in Russia).

Bulgaria is the most recent of Eastern European country to let Google photograph their highways and streets. But that doesn’t mean users should expect virtual images of Sofia’s streets to show up online anytime soon. Google started photographing Romania in 2010, and still there are only a handful of cities available. There’s no word yet on how long it would take for Bulgarian streets to show up.

Google Street View image of Bucuresti, Romania

So far, Google has faced less than enthusiastic support for its ambitious photo-mapping project in Europe.

In 2010, they had a bit of a run in with the Czech government, when Czech data protection authorities gave Google a red light for continuing photographing in the country. In May the following year, Google was given the go-ahead to continue photographing as long as it lowered their camera height from 2.7 meters to 2.4 meters.

News reports from the past year have confirmed that Google Street View is coming soon to the following countries (or at the very least that Google’s imaging vehicles have been spotted there): UkraineEstoniaSlovakiaPolandHungaryLatvia, and Croatia.

For those without the patience to wait for Google to put their country on the map (so to speak), the website Norc.com offers an number of cities that Google doesn’t yet offer, including Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania.


About the Author

Joshua Boissevain

Joshua Boissevain is a research associate and editorial assistant at Transitions Online. He's also a freelance journalist and photographer based in Prague. Find him on twitter at @joshboissevain.

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