Google Maps pedals Tour de France footage


7 Jul 2008

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It’s that time of year again – Wimbledon has come to a close and all eyes are turning towards the Tour de France but most of us will not get the opportunity to enjoy it from the sidelines. Or maybe we can. Virtually, at least.

Google has integrated Tour de France coverage using Street View, a Google Maps feature that offers highly detailed, 360-degree, panoramic views of selected parts of cities in the US, as well as France and Italy.

At Google.com/tourdefrance2008 fans can follow the event stage by stage by clicking on any of the Tour de France locations, which zoom in to give a detailed street view of the route.

The street view has a little icon of a man on a bike that can be dragged and dropped on any part of the route which can then be seen in recently updated, panoramic images. The problem is it doesn’t indicate which part of the route is being raced at any given moment.

So, I had to head over to www.eurosport.com to find out where the cyclists were and then click through to find that today was Stage 3. Still no sign of where exactly the cyclists are though.

Also noticeable as part of Google’s Street View is the company’s new technology to automatically blur faces and licence plates, something that may not quell privacy fears in Europe as Google continues to expand Street View to other countries.

By Marie Boran 

Pictured: The finishing line of the Tour de France, as seen from Google Maps