Google Welcomes the World to Thailand with Brand New Street View Imagery

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Thailand, 27  March 2012 – Today Google, together with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, announced that Street View imagery of three major areas in Thailand is now live on Google Maps. This imagery allows users in Thailand and around the world to view and navigate 360-degree street-level imagery of greater Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket. Thailand is the 35th country where Street View imagery is available.

Using Street View Imagery of Thailand

In areas where Street View is available, you can access street-level imagery by zooming into the lowest level on Google Maps, or by dragging the orange “Pegman” icon on the left-hand side of the map onto a blue highlighted street.

Locals can use the 360˚ panoramas to check out a restaurant before arriving, figure out driving directions, arrange meeting points, or get to know their own town better. Thai businesses can also benefit from Street View technology by embedding Google Maps directly into their site. Hotels, for example, can easily show what their guests what the building looks like on the street and also a sense of the surrounding neighborhood. And travelers to Thailand can use Street View to plan their vacations or virtually explore the country before arriving. For more tips about using Street View visit http://maps.google.co.th/streetview/

Kei Kawai, Senior Product Manager for Street View in Google’s Mountain View, California headquarters, said “We’re thrilled to extend our Street View coverage to Thailand. After the devastating floods of last year, we pushed to make these images available as quickly as possible. You can now explore three major regions and virtually experience Thai life — from breathtaking temples to beautiful beaches and everything in between.”

Google plans on continued driving of Thailand in 2012, with new imagery appearing as soon as it can be made available.

A new user poll for the Google Trike

With today’s launch of Street View imagery, Google has also pledged to collect more 360-degree imagery of Thailand, this time focused on famous sites that are not necessarily viewable from public roads. These sites will require the Google Trike — a specially-designed bike mounted with a camera that can capture and collect street-level imagery in places less accessible by car. The trike has already collected images from hundreds of places around the world, many of which can be visited in Street View today, such as Stonehenge in UK, Pompeii in Italy, Legoland in California, Versailles in France and the Esplanade in Singapore.

While Google announced its priority to collect imagery of Thailand’s world heritage locations with the Trike, the Tourism Authority of Thailand also wants to hear from Thais what unique sites and national treasures should be featured in Google Street View for the world to explore. Anyone can participate in the My Miracle Thailand campaign by sending in a photo, video or text submission to http://www.tourismthailand.org/mymiracle or voting for existing submissions on the site. The top 10 winning locations for Thailand will be announced in June.

Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni, Governor, Tourism Authority of Thailand, explained, “The Tourism Authority of Thailand has always embraced technology and through our partnership with Google Thailand, we are excited about the opportunities to delight and surprise by showcasing the miracles of Thailand through the innovation of Google Maps with Street View.”

Pornthip Kongchun, Marketing Manager for Thailand, said, “We all hope the Street View imagery launched today and upcoming Google Trike partner collections will help promote more tourism to Thailand. The Street View imagery makes it very clear that Thailand is back and more beautiful than ever.”

Google has gone to great lengths to safeguard privacy while allowing all Thai users to benefit from this feature. Street View only contains imagery that is already visible from public roads and features technology that blurs both faces and licence plates. In addition, any user can easily flag images for removal that he or she considers inappropriate by clicking on “Report a problem”. Google has consulted extensively with many privacy and community groups in developing the feature and privacy safeguards.

About Google Inc.

Google’s innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google’s targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, please visit www.google.com.