Google Street View to incorporate reCAPTCHA technology to identify street numbers

17 Apr 2014

A Google Street View car. Image via Wikimedia Commons

Google Map’s Street View is to make it easier for its software to find house numbers using encryption software used by reCAPTCHA.

Google revealed the news on its online security blog after both companies conducted research and testing on the combined software that aims to ease the identification of house numbers for more accurate searches through Google Maps.

As things stand, Google’s own detection software uses images that have been taken by its roving camera cars and identifying house numbers.

It did this by analysing a number that might be hidden by a shadow or obscured by harsh sunlight and adding localisation, segmentation, and recognition steps.

With the incorporation of reCAPTCHA’s new algorithm, the software that has been used to encrypt online services against spam robots was found also to be quite adept at solving visual puzzles and obscured letters and numbers, something which the Google Street View software has been having trouble with.

According to findings Google has released as scientific data, the combined software will be able to identify the more difficult street numbers to an accuracy of 90pc.


Examples of numbers which the new software has been able to read

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic