The world will have to wait for a while to see India’s cities and landscapes on Google Street View. The Indian government has rejected Google’s plans to include India in its 360-degreesstreet-mapping service because of security concerns.
India’s security agencies were especially concerned because the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai were preceded by photographic surveillance of the city’s targets by Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley. As a result, the government believes that allowing Google to take images for Street View would compromise the country’s security.
However, in 2013, India’s Ministry of Tourism had tied up with an Indian company called WoNoBo to extensively cover over 50 Indian cities for its Google Street View-like app. The company’s app and website show 360-degree-views of cities, including roads and important buildings in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.
“We believe this innovative and entertaining technology will make it extremely easy for tourists to walk or drive through our most-visited cities,” a government official was quoted as saying in 2013.
Yet, this is not the government’s final decision. Kiren Rijiju, the Minister of State for Home, said that Google’s request will be considered after the government’s proposed Geospatial Information Regulation Bill is passed. The controversial bill will require companies like Google to get a license to offer and publish maps in the country and those publishing “incorrect” maps being fined or imprisoned.
This isn’t the first time Google Street View has come under the scanner for security reasons in India. In 2011, when it first tried to capture Street View images of the streets of Bangalore, it was stopped by the city’s police. Bangalore Police told Google that the city was “highly sensitive” and had important defence and scientific institutions…. see more