Thailand became the 35th country in the world to be featured on Google Street View, a technology that offers panoramic views along streets in the cities of Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket. At present, Google Street View covers approximately 95% of the streets in the three cities.
Google Street View allows users to zoom in on a city’s streets and also by dragging a ‘pegman’ icon onto a map’s location. Using a keyboard or a mouse, the icon can be manipulated to show streets in horizontal or vertical directions and zoom levels can be adjusted. The user can follow a route taken by the camera car, making it feel like he is one of the passengers traveling on a road.
According to Google, the technology will underscore Thailand’s tourism appeal by showing the way of life along the country’s roads. It also helps travelers in planning travel in the cities and extended road trips. Google plans to use tuk tuks (three-wheeled taxis) to capture images in areas inaccessible by cars such as parks and monuments. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will conduct a public survey to find the most desirable places in Thailand to be shown on Google Street Map. The plan is to have all 77 provinces featured, but no time frame has been committed for this.