With Google Maps' improved feature even 'storefronts are visible'

With Google Maps' improved feature even 'storefronts are visible'

KUALA LUMPUR - Google Map users can now view locations in peninsular Malaysia in great detail with Google Malaysia's newly-improved Street View feature.

They can zoom in for a close look at Pulau Langkawi, Malacca, Pulau Pangkor, Penang, Putrajaya or anywhere else in the country from a computer or smartphone.

"This will have great tourism and economic impact because one in five Google searches is location based," said Google Malaysia managing director Sajith Sivanandan.

"Even storefronts are visible in the images."

Capturing the images needed took about a year of travelling the peninsula, both on foot and in Street View Cars - vehicles that have a camera and recording equipment mounted.

Offroad areas, such as Taman Negara, were captured using a backpack-mounted camera system called the Street View Trekker.

Street View for Sabah and Sarawak is a work in progress.

"We are working with the Malaysian Nature Society and this even involves using our cameras while travelling by kayak," said Sajith at the launch of the improved Street View at the Google Malaysia office yesterday.

Nhazlisham Hamdan, Google Malaysia's Street View operations leader, said it has been an exciting journey collecting the images.

"From hiking in Taman Negara four or five times a week to sitting in a boat in choppy waters, it was all rewarding," he said, adding that it was particularly gratifying when people recognised the Street View Cars.

"Some would ask about the camera while others would strike a pose as the car passed by," he said.

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