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Google Street View takes new strides
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Google yesterday announced that users can now view even more Cape wineries on Google Street View, from the comfort of their PCs or smartphones. A further five wineries have been added, making it total of 30 wineries that are included in the most comprehensive database of winelands imagery in the world.

New wineries that are now visible online include Boekenhoutskloof Winery, Groot Constantia, Hartenberg, Moreson, Rustenburg Wines and Warwick.

Street View is a hugely popular feature of Google Maps that is already available in more than 30 countries around the world. It adds another dimension to Google Maps, with 360 degree street-level images taken by the Google cars and trikes, allowing Google users to view and navigate through streets, wine estates, vineyards, historic buildings and gardens.

Google will also be collecting images in Botswana for Google Street View in the coming weeks. Google, using Chrevolet Captiva models, will drive around Botswana and take photographs of a wide variety of places, including Gaborone, Francistown and the country’s world-famous tourist and wildlife destinations. These include Chobe National Park, Moremi Game Reserve, Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans, Central Kalahari Game Reserve and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Images collected by the cars will be processed and carefully stitched together, a technological process that can take several months. They will be made available at a later date.

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. You can check out a restaurant before arriving, make travel plans, arrange meeting points, or get a helping hand with geography homework. House-hunters can save time by exploring the neighbourhoods of potential properties in advance and also by looking up driving directions.

Businesses can also benefit from the Street View technology by embedding Google Maps directly into their site for free, helping them to promote a chain of hotels, B&Bs, or raise awareness about a local library or restaurant.

“We are delighted to be updating Street View with more Cape winelands imagery and look forward to bringing our cutting-edge Street View technology to Botswana”, said Julie Taylor, Head of Communications and Public Affairs for Google, Sub-Saharan Africa. “In addition to Street View being useful to Internet users and businesses in Botswana, we also want to help Botswana showcase its extraordinary national parks and wildlife destinations to the rest of the world.”

Street View was first launched on the African continent in South Africa, just before the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. Some highlights from Street View in South Africa include imagery of dozens of cities and towns, the World Cup soccer stadia and heritage sites such as Vilikazi Street in Soweto and the Kruger National Park.

Using Google Street View
In areas where Street View is available, you can see the images on Google Maps (on a PC or Internet-enabled mobile) by zooming into the lowest level, or by dragging the orange "Pegman" icon on the left-hand side of the map onto a blue highlighted street.

Google has gone to lengths to safeguard privacy while allowing all South African 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". South Africa is the first country in Africa to get Street View imagery in Google Maps. Street View first launched in 2007 and is currently available in 23 countries and 100 metropolitan areas worldwide, including large areas of the US, Australia, Japan, France, Italy and Spain.

To learn more about Street View, visit www.google.co.za/streetview.

The full list of wineries (excluding those newly added) currently on Street View is:
Ataraxia Wines
Bouchard Finlayson
De Wetshof
Fairview
Glen Carlou
Groote Post
Hamilton Russell
Iona Wines
Jordan Wines
Kaapzicht
Klein Constantia
Meerlust
Mooiplaas
Morgenster
Paul Cluver
Raka
Rustenberg
Saronsberg
Strandveld
Vergelegen
Vilafonte
Villiera
Warwick Wine Estate
Weltevrede

Tel: +27.219036273   Fax: +27.219033474   Email: info@mooiplaas.co.za   Website: 
P.O. Box 104, Koelenhof, 7605, South Africa