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Google continues its drive to remap Vancouver streets

May 27, 2016

A Google Maps Street View car on West Broadway Avenue, stopped at a light.

Friday, May 27, I photographed another instance of a Google Maps Street View car roaming the streets of Vancouver. This time it was just before 1 p.m. and the distinctively-marked little Subaru Impreza was stopped in a westbound lane of West Broadway Avenue at the intersection with South Granville Street.

Yesterday, the same car passed me, heading west on West Broadway. There was a very light mist of rain in the air and whether for that reason or not, a close-fitting cover had been placed over the mast-mounted panoramic camera.

Ho hum, just anther day at the wheel of a Google Maps Street View car for this guy.

Just anther day at the wheel of a Google Maps Street View car for this guy.

Google had already been updating street views of Vancouver for some days when, back on May 9, I snapped a photo of the back end of a Street View car as it passed me in a Fairview back alley. Prior to that, I got some good photos of a Google mapping car two years ago in 2014.

When I cone to think about it, for the six times, or so, that I’ve seen a Google Maps Street View car in Vancouver, I’ve never once noticed either of Google’s competitors in the street mapping game, namely Apple and Bing.

In fact, like Google, Apple also sends out Apple Maps vehicles to photograph city streets around the world. Apple’s vehicles are apparently all vans with camera rigs that resemble roof racks. And unlike Google, Apple still devotes a web page to listing where in the world its mapping vehicles are.

Microsoft’s Bing division likewise has mapping vehicles—jelly bean cars topped with panoramic camera masts—that look (to steal from a Buzzfeed story on the Bing cars) like cheap, dollar store knockoffs of real Google Maps Street View cars. Click the images to enlarge them.

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