DELHI, India: Eleven years after its first attempt was curtailed by regulatory issues, Google Maps launched its Street View service in 10 Indian cities this week, in partnership with Tech Mahindra and Genesys.
Offering 360-degree views of streets around the world using photos taken by vehicles, Street View has faced regulatory issues in many countries, along with privacy complaints.
Due to security concerns, Google has been denied permission to provide street views at least twice in the last decade by the Indian government.
However, this week company executives said that due to a new geospatial policy from India, enacted last year which allows foreign map operators to provide panoramic imagery by licensing the data from local partners, it is now able to meet the country's regulatory requirements.
Tech Mahindra and Genesys are exclusively responsible for data collection, Google said, adding that by the end of the year the service would be available in over 50 Indian cities.
Miriam Daniel, Vice President of Google Maps Experiences, said that to address privacy concerns, Street View imagery will blur out faces of individuals and license plates.
MapmyIndia, which powers Apple maps in India, also launched a similar feature, with its Mappls RealView available across thousands of cities.
Google also announced a partnership with India's Central Pollution Control Board to provide air quality information.