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Google Street View Debuts In Germany, Blurry Houses Included

Despite ongoing controversy in Germany, the small town of Oberstaufen is the first in that country to be viewable on Google Street View. And, as requested, Google has blocked the homes of German residents who don’t want to be included.


You can see see that image for yourself. Why is it blurred?

Earlier this year, Google took the unprecedented step of letting Germans opt-out of having their homes appear in Street View photography; an estimated 244,000 households took Google up on that offer — a little less than three percent of homes in the country.

That was just the latest in Google’s long-running battle with German officials over Street View. The German government raised privacy concerns about Street View in early 2009, long before the service was available there.

Google expects to add Street View photography to about 20 German cities by the end of the year.

Postscript (Nov. 18, 2010): Google’s now rolled out StreetView in those 20 cities, including Munich, Hamburg and Berlin.

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