Leicester and Leicestershire go live on Google Street View - at last!
It has been a long wait but from tomorrow internet users will be able to take a virtual stroll along our streets.
A year after Google launched Street View for many parts of Britain, the service is finally going live in Leicestershire.
The internet giant has sent its camera cars along every public road in the county, collecting photos which it has turned into 360-degree pictures online.
The images show homes, shops and takeaways, street signs, landmarks and football grounds.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
In other parts of the country, potential house buyers have used Street View to check areas from the comfort of their homes.
Faces and number plates are painstakingly obscured for privacy.
For 12 months, the website provided Street View coverage of 25 UK cities – including Derby and Nottingham – as well as towns such as York, Scunthorpe and Norwich, but not Leicestershire, to the consternation of its proud residents.
Until now, only major roads such as the M1 were shown, as well as – by chance – Wymeswold.
Leicester City Council leader Ross Willmott wrote to Google last year to complain that the city had been omitted.
He said he was pleased people around the globe would now be able to familiarise themselves with city streets, attractions and businesses.
He said: "People are increasingly using Google to find out about places and there should be the same opportunity to do that here, as in any other place."
Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce managing director Martin Traynor said: "As well as being something to satisfy people's curiosity about what Leicestershire is like, it will offer many advantages from a business angle and put the county in a new shopwindow."
But Hazel Smith, Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator for Barwell, said: "It's going to feel like you've got Big Brother hanging over you.
"The problem is that you could get the wrong sort of people looking at it."
Shop assistant Abdur Rahman, 33, of Queen Street, Loughborough, was looking forward to seeing his road.
He said: "It will be interesting to see how it appears and it doesn't worry me too much that anyone in the world could take a look at my front door."
Student Lindsey Powell, 18, from Sileby, said: "Whatever people say, I can't imagine it will lead to a crime wave or anything like that."
Google said it was aware of concerns about loss of privacy.
As well as automatically blurring number plates and faces, it will remove properties from the images on request.
Spokeswoman Laura Scott said: "From about midnight on Thursday, there will new images available for the whole of Leicestershire, more or less.
"We have travelled down every public road, as far as we know.
"We are aware of the concerns expressed but there is nothing that cannot be seen should a member of the public walk a street themselves.
"If we get requests to remove houses, we will do it, normally within hours."