Google Maps Gran Alacant!

Google Maps Gran Alacant!

I hope you all had a great Christmas and didn’t over indulge too much and I certainly hope you didn’t get caught up in the delays getting to and from the UK just before the festive season – why is it that the UK seems to go to pot every time it snows? This month we are going to look at Google Maps and some of the facilities that if offers for both computer and mobile users.

Did you realise that Google have been driving around in their strange, modified camera cars (see the insert picture) taking street level photographs, of pretty much everywhere they can get, in order to expand their Google Maps service to include actual photographs of the areas of their maps that we can all browse free on the Internet.

How do you look? Well its easy, all you need to have is a computer connected to the Internet, preferably with a broadband connection. Simply point your browser to and in the search bar at the top of the screen type in “Gran Alacant” and click on search maps; you will be presented with a Ordinance Survey type map of our area. Yes it also works if you type “La Marina” or “Santa Pola”, so just type where you live to get a map view of it. If you are a soap fan you can even have a look round Coronation Street!

Once you see the map of your area you can use the mouse to move around to find a specific area that you are interested in, then to see the photographs that have been taken of this area, look to the top left portion of the screen and you will see an icon of a little yellow figure, move your mouse pointer over the figure, he will move a little if you have your pointer in the right place, click, hold and drag him onto the map to the area that you are interested in.

The map will change to show you the images taken by the Google street view cars. You can then use your mouse pointer to move around (drive down streets) and zoom into areas of interest, and they even seem to have managed to get pictures from inside some of the urbs!

This raises questions of security and privacy. Some people are questioning whether or not this type of exercise is a good thing. It’s not clear where Google stands legally (especially as the images cover a number of countries and therefore jurisdictions). There are a number of stories about adulterous husbands being caught on camera leaving girlfriends houses!

Whatever you feel about it, the sheer planning, effort and result is quite staggering.

Those of you that have Internet enabled “smart” mobile phones need not feel left out, Google Maps is available from this URL from your PC or directly from your phone by pointing your phones browser to (if you have an iPhone Google Maps is already installed so you don’t need to do anything) not only do you get to use the same street map technology to see pictures of the streets, you can even share your current location using Google Latitude and receive directions on how to get to your destination.