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Google's coming home? German tech firm make DIY Street View system available

With Google taking Street View off-road with its new rucksack add-on, Trekker, and even flirting with the possibilities of a 3D mode for the widely used app, it was unlikely to be long before independent firms tried to capitalise on public interest in digital cartography.

Germany company Streetview Technology is the first to jump on the mapping bandwagon, offering the hardware, software, and services necessary to enable the compilation of custom and DIY versions of the popular Google program, with images available (bottom) that demonstrate the effectiveness of the system.

Selling a camera, server, and player software that mimic the sourcing methods and software capabilities of Google Street View, the Langen-based firm says it is targeting the equipment at "professionals with a budget" rather than average netizens, adding that the kit will enable the documentation of areas that "will most likely not be covered by Google anytime soon."

This cryptic declaration could encompass locations as diverse as the high risk West Bank and the bespoke but remote French holiday destination Ile-de-Re. Pricing is on request only at this stage but a full product catalogue complete with detailed specs is available. Additional options for the system include car and backpack mounts.

The firm says buyers for the hardware package and related software and services so far include a South American mapping company, a US railway planning agency, and a firm shooting aerial images in South Africa. There is also rumoured to be considerable interest from the military sector.

Street View is a divise enterprise for the search giant, with consumers alternately excited about the possibilities of the technology and concerned about the potential invasions of privacy it may entail.

Image credit: Streetview Technology