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Google Creates Tour de France Video Maps 78

Posted by timothy
from the now-now-let's-not-gush-too-much dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In honor of the Tour de France's start today, Google has used its awesome Street View technology to compile amazing Tour de France route views. A great description of the technology that went into creating this can be found in this LinuxDevices article. At least, I'm assuming these are the cameras — Google acknowledged using Elphel cameras for book scanning and 'capturing street imagery in Google Maps.' And from the article, the cameras have come a long way from the days when crazy cat ladies and other privacy freaks scuppered Street View in San Francisco a couple of years back."
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Google Creates Tour de France Video Maps

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  • Really? (Score:2, Interesting)

    Privacy freaks. ow.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Three cheers for privacy freaks, and cat ladies if they choose to take up the same cause!

      I'm not too scared that Google's driving around taking photos of public spaces, and the satellite stuff is all bought in (actually, lots of good Google stuff is bought in, but apparently that's ok unless Microsoft does it). But Google's storage of profiling data is dangerous - latest example is Viacom requesting all Google's info on who watches/uploads which videos, and that's just a private request where we do get to k

  • by Macthorpe (960048) on Saturday July 05, 2008 @01:36PM (#24067551) Journal

    the cameras have come along way from the days when crazy cat ladies and other privacy freaks scuppered Street View in San Francisco a couple of years back."

    Too right! I mean, everybody should just let Google photograph whoever they want and publish it on the web to drive hits to their website. Anybody who thinks otherwise is a privacy freak!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by thermian (1267986)

      Anyone who describes cars with video camera's on top of them as 'awesome technology' can hardly be expected to understand privacy issues, can they...

      • Or, you know, you can counter all google's assault on privacy, using advanced privacy anti-invasion technology such as
        "Curtains" (tm) (c) (r)

        Remember : if google can manage to take an *occasional* picture through the windows when they do their run *once in a blue moon*, that means the *neighbours* can spy on you *every damn single day of the whole year*.

        If you're so much afraid of being seen nude through your windows, put a fucking curtain before the neighbours setup a for-profit live-cam on the net and sto

        • I think part of the point is that

          your neighboors != anyone with Internet access

          • And the other part of the point is :
            Google take a picture of your cat once every 3 years != You neighboors setup a live web cam on the intertube showing you in the nude

            In the first situation, anyone with internet access can, as long as they have the time to loose to search for your location on the map, see your cat.
            In the second situation, anyone with internet access and a credit card, can find the live-cam advertised on some shady website and see much more than your cat.

            What I mean is that if google can ta

            • I see what you mean but, again, I think it's very different to have your cat shown on Google, one of the most popular Internet resources available, than to have some random site put up by your neighbor with a webcam showing you in the nude.

              You can't ignore the fact that Google is THE place to look for information, and if someone wants to see how your house looks like, or if they want to try and see if there's a picture of you picking up the paper in the morning, Google is probably the first place they'll tr

              • My personnal opinion is that Google isn't new in that field.

                Personal privacy used to be limited to a small set of people physically close to you.

                I think that this era of privacy ended up when publishing mean appeared that enable a random guy to make something available to the whole planet instantly for free : ie. this privacy died with Internet and the Web.

                Google Maps only happened to attract more public awareness around the problem.

                But just like forcing Google to obscure strategic building on its "maps" and "earth" sevices won't suddenly stop interested persons finding those informations o

    • by Goaway (82658) on Saturday July 05, 2008 @01:48PM (#24067645) Homepage

      Are you saying there should be special rules that apply to Google and not to normal photographers?

      • by Macthorpe (960048)

        No, I don't. I think any person or organisation who photographs everything possible in a city and then publishes them to, say, a publically accessible website without asking the people in the photograph first should come under a similar amount of scrutiny.

        Considering there are photos which point inside people's living rooms and are of people on their private property, I think Google should be asking first, not doing it and then providing a mechanism by which someone can have the photo removed after. A photo

        • It seems that Google is doing a good job blurring the faces in France - but that spoils imagery. Maybe, a person should have a right to "immortalize" herself by opting in (and proving it was actually him/her)? That probably will not work either - too few people will ether bother to opt in. Maybe - no need to prove identity? Just auction those blurred persons, so you can buy yourself a place in different nice places all over the world by just Photoshoping your photo on top of somebody's body? Save kerosen
          • The Greeks were perfectly fine immortalizing themselves as strangely misshapen people with red skin, I don't see why we couldn't get used to requiring public-space photography published without consent of the depicted to have blurred faces.

            Remember: the more information people have, the more they can screw you with it. Does your face appear on the sidelines in Stage 13? I guess your boss knows you weren't sick after all. Has a voyeur circulated nude photos of you taking a shower to his friends on the int

        • by Goaway (82658)

          No, I don't. I think any person or organisation who photographs everything possible in a city and then publishes them to, say, a publically accessible website without asking the people in the photograph first should come under a similar amount of scrutiny.

          So how many photos exactly am I allowed to take of a city?

          And does, say, flickr or panoramio count as an "organization"? If not, what is the essential difference?

        • You're a German tourist. For the first time in your life you get to visit new york. You find walking around Manhattan impressive, so you happily decide to take several pictures of your girlfriend with the tall skyscraper in the background.

          The your holiday finishes and you go back to the airport to go back to your country.
          But at the airport customs, the police performs a warantless search of your laptop & camera and suddenly, you see yourself and your girlfriend detained for assaults on privacy.

          Why ? Bec

      • No, there need to be stronger privacy laws all around. However, Google is doing privacy advocates a service by doing it so publicly, and on such a large scale, that it may raise enough awareness to change minds.

        • by Goaway (82658)

          So you don't think photographers should be allowed to take any pictures they want in public spaces?

          • by jlarocco (851450)

            But that's not the issue. They're taking pictures of private people in private places.

            • by Goaway (82658)

              No, they are not. They are in public places, taking pictures of their surroundings. Anything private they happen to catch was visible in public.

          • I don't think they should be allowed to publish them without permission.

            It's a bit of a slippery-slope conundrum, but my opinion remains that legal protection of privacy wrt photographs, etc ought to be a great deal stronger.

            • by Goaway (82658)

              I don't think they should be allowed to publish them without permission.

              So no photos of crowds any more?

              • If the photo is depicting something newsworthy, or everyone gives permission in advance, maybe.

                According to the courts, if you're out in public you have not reasonable expectation of privacy. That may be, but I certainly think you have a reasonable expectation of not having your face plastered all over some guy's website just for walking around outside.

                A person's face should be his trademark.

    • Anybody who thinks otherwise is a privacy freak!

      Exactly so. If your standard of privacy is that high, don't expose yourself to public streets.

    • by ivan256 (17499)

      Actually, yes. If those people are in public, or easily visible from a public place.

      Or do you think Google should be subjected to anti-photography rules that many people are fighting against for other photographers?

    • by aiken_d (127097)

      Wow, so on the one hand we have the submitter, who characterized anyone who has privacy concerns as being a "crazy cat lady", and on the other hand we've got people like you, who seem to be freaking out about a company publishing photos taken in public (just like, as others have noted, hundreds of thousands of amateur photographers and flicker users already do).

      That really sums up Slashdot, doesn't it? Everything is teh bestest thing evar unless it's teh worsets thing evar.

      And these are supposedly the *sma

      • by Macthorpe (960048)

        Can you point out where I 'freaked out'?

        I don't think I'm the one suffering from two-tone perception disorder here.

    • by Snaller (147050)

      The pictures Google takes are visible to all and if you are in them you can have the removed. The surveillance cameras are recording footage you are never allowed to see

      • by Macthorpe (960048)

        Your point would work if surveillance camera footage was published on a website for everyone else to see as well, and the government was using it to make money.

        • by Snaller (147050)

          No. You just didn't get my point: Who cares about this, the government is the problem.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I hear some of the street view drivers were known drinkers of coffee during their runs. This alone invalidates all the results of their efforts until some proper piss tests can be arranged.

  • Let's face it, you know the Tour de France has become dull when the only interesting thing that happens is when Burghardt hits a dog [youtube.com]

    • I wouldn't call it dull per se, but something is up when not a single person from a country outside Western Europe and the US has ever won the thing....
      • Yeah, really strange that only the rich parts of the world are good at a sport where a lot of money is required to compete at a high level...

        Besides which, that only applies to the general classification. In the other competitions (sprints and King of the Mountains mostly), there's been a lot of winners from other parts of the world. For example, last year, Juan Mauricio Soler Hernandez, from Columbia, took the KOM. Robbie McEwan, from Australia, has won the sprint competition many times. The favourite for

  • I can click through stage 1 faster than Alexander Valverde can ride it.

  • I literally finished configuring my MythTV box this morning for it. Now we can find out how many people were on drugs this year.
    • This is a bit off-topic, but my friends and I decided that the Tour should declare that the race is so hard that no one can win, and disqualify anyone who looks to be doing too well. They did that last year during the race (including Rasmussen, KlÃden, and Kaschechkin, who were kicked for being suspected of maybe having the opportunity to dope, during the off-season). They did it the year before, too, mostly before the start of the race, on the evidence of a list of names in some doctor's lab. Inclu

      • That would cut out a lot of the drama that keeps the Tour in the news year round. From a marketing standpoint they really need to catch a couple of big names every year in the doping net....not enough to deplete the field but a couple of well known names...a Castre or a Hincapie type guy this year would be good. Both of those guys would looke really good in a commercial, where footage of their accomplishments was played in reverse to shame them.

        I like the Flandis one, where they busted an Amish guy on the d

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why read Slashdot -- go straight to the source of all your Google and MIT press releases:

    http://googlepress.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

    http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/ [mit.edu]

  • Wha? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Alarindris (1253418) on Saturday July 05, 2008 @02:46PM (#24068183)
    Scuppered? Seriously?

    I guarantee that came from a 'word of the day.'
    • by MagdJTK (1275470)

      I hear that word really often. Maybe it's because I'm British / read books occasionally...

  • You are talking about distance (even if it is a metaphorical and not physical distance), not whether or not something is with you.

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Saturday July 05, 2008 @03:58PM (#24068871) Journal

    Let me explain: I am an avid cyclist. Furthermore, I like everything bicycle: I built all my bikes, and I fix and adjust mine and my friends bikes.

    And I can't stand Le Tour de France or Il Giro d'Italia. I hate the doping (and everything they do to hide it) and how massively it is happening. The commercializaition of these cycling events is disturbing for sure, but I am willing to accept it as a necessary evil. After all, these events have been commercialized long before even the heroic days of Binda, Coppi and Bartali. But what's going on is just bullshitting.

    I don't follow these cycling events animore. I may check some of the track cycling GP competitions (less bulshitting, and it lasts a few days instead of weeks and weeks).

    Any fellow slashdotter who actually follows the tour/giro?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mtdenial (769442)

      I do follow pro cycling fairly seriously and always look forward to the coverage of the the Tour. If you are complaining about doping, however, you cannot really talk about the past 'heroic days' without being hypocritical. I cannot speak for the others, but the champion Coppi wasn't clean. Amphetamines and good old fashioned alcohol were heavily used back in the day.

      I have as much hatred for cheaters than some, more so than most. In my high school days I was a nationally ranked athlete (not cycling) and a

      • I have respect for the overall idea of your post, but sadly, I have to say: bollocks to that, my friend. Le Tour and Il Giro have done more HARM to cyclism, than good. Those that I know follow these events, are just sit-at-home coach-sportsmen. I hope you are an exception. And the athletes taking part in it, with all their expenses paid including their doping and transfusions (and their regularly-replaced carbon bikes), can go eff themselves for all I care. There's more honour in my friends and me going out

    • by GoofyBoy (44399)

      I watch it to see what the latest in bio-technology can produce.

    • Then we can bet on who has the best doctor !

    • I do, yes: The GdI is harder to follow unless you watch it on the Internet; but the TdF is fairly accessible... However, I do agree with you. I've only been an avid cyclist for maybe seven years; and only serious for three-or-four, which is about the same length I've been following the grand tours. My point being that I'm not so privy to any scandals from the past; but in the short time I've been interested, the name of professional cycling seems to have been marred almost indelibly.

      This is such a shame. Th

      • My main gripe is that these events did little to promote cycling as an everyday, and very enjoyable activity - and now they (the events) are doing exactly 0 in that respect.

      • by tbuskey (135499)

        This is such a shame. These events are, let's face it, some of the toughest mainstream contests in the world of sport. After the 2006 Tour, we were all hoping 2007 would clean-up its act to save face... Boy, were we wrong!

        Consequently, the athletes who are genuine and clean -- and deserve kudos -- get tarred with the same brush.

        I used to watch the Paris-Dakar Rally. It's also a tough contest over multiple days. If it had been around when I was in my teens, I could imagine trying to do it in my 20s. In any event, terrorist threats shut it down this year. I've heard they're trying to do it in South America next year.

  • by vocaro (569257)
    "it's awesome Street View technology" --> "its awesome Street View technology"
  • In the UK the same-old, same-old let's-drive-everywhere television producers have moved on to Microsoft Virtual Earth this year. It is a slight improvement on the hand-coloured 'maps' prepared by clueless graphic artists of previous years - cartography does get involved with the M$ Virtual Earth and those 'Mountain High' maps were getting a bit old.

    Unless you have mythTV I would not bother to tune in. The adverts are quite tedious, it seems like they are going for five minutes of ads every ten minutes this

  • by gelfling (6534) on Saturday July 05, 2008 @04:18PM (#24069071) Homepage Journal

    I am having a Franz Kafka problem with Google. My wife (the worlds worst technophobe) lost the password to her blog. Today I discovered that the alternate email address for the account is not only an deliverable address it's an invalid domain altogether.

    Google does not have a provision to fix this. The reset password either goes to the address for which I need the password, or, it goes to an undeliverable address. And every 'form' they have for every single problem on Blogger goes to the same submission form.

    But here's the good part. To protect my privacy - Google's official response is to say in effect "We don't believe you, we think you're lying and so we won't and can't help you."

    And there appears to be no recourse. No place to send an email no place to explain even in one sentence what this problem is.

    So fuck Google and the Chinese Death Squads that use them. Fuck them all.

    • On the other hand, if they would allow everybody to send in some explanation why they lost their passwords and can't restore it, this would allow nearly everybody with a bit creativity to overtake your account. So, isn't it you wife's fault to enter a completely invalid email-adress? You are angry about the fact that Google doesn't offer an extra service they never promised for some other free service? Seems strange to me...
      • by gelfling (6534)

        You know, I am so totally done with listening to ninny nanners like you tell me why something that's broken is a good thing. Like I said, we kind of figured out how to reset passwords elsewhere in the world, oh I dunno, 30 years ago? Yeah so you keep scolding, that's a good plan.

    • >> My wife (the worlds worst technophobe) lost the password to her blog.

      Since you know that, I'm sure you made a paper copy of the password.

      >> Today I discovered that the alternate email address for the account is not only an deliverable address it's an invalid domain altogether.

      Ouch. Good thing you've got that password written down.

      >> So fuck Google and the Chinese Death Squads that use them. Fuck them all.

      Uhh... Seems to me you've fucked yourself.

      This is unfortunate, but you've not take

    • Your wife lost her password, and Google won't allow for social engineering to be used to retrieve it (closing a loophole), and you blame Google?

      If it was a for-pay service, you could just call them and be identified by the credit card you used to pay for it. Since it's free, you don't have that option, but this is hardly Google's fault. Your anger is misplaced.

    • Well, if you look at this as a service offered on real world things, you'd basicly be asking your bank to send a new pincode for your credit card to

      Nilly Willy
      Imaginary Street -13
      108 Duckburg
      Langbortistan

      Then when they can't really do that, you'll show up at your bank, and still be denied access to your bank account, because your passport and driver's license doesn't have the same social security number and birthday as the one you used on your bank account (say 45th of Undecember 1735, and SSN of 192QNz9821

  • Will we see Michael Chambers breakdancing out in front of a shop with a broom?

  • Google the Poodle (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Ken Murray (1311885)
    Funny how in 2008 so many comments I see on message boards are from people now arguing against the liberties that Google are taking. They achieved it over the years by very simply portraying themselves as "Google", rather than "Google Corp/Ltd". Google is a business much like MacDonalds, Coca-cola, Microsoft, and your own local football team. It cannot be except from any privacy restrictions.

ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.

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