After filming the streets of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa for Google Street View, the Internet giant's camera truck crossed the Green Line for the first time and began mapping out the streets of Ariel and other communities in Judea and Samaria, such as Sha'arei Tikva and Oranit.
The Street View service is, in essence, a supplement to Google Maps, which displays cities and villages worldwide in a data base that allows people to virtually "walk" through the streets, and even to see cars and other people.
To avoid privacy infringements, people who wish to remain unseen can request to have their faces blurred. The service was the focus of harsh criticism after it was revealed that during photo shoots, Google trucks had scanned local WiFi networks and documented them, which it has since ceased.
While shooting for Street View, cameras are placed alongside each other to take corresponding photos. In order to remove the correspondence and create a continual, 360 degree image, the photos are then "sewn" together. To avoid creating a singular panoramic view, special algorithms are responsible for processing the photos to minimize the number of "stitches" connecting the photos and to create a smooth transition between them.
The Street View service was launched last April in Israel in the three major cities. Google says more cities and towns, such as Eilat, Ashdod, Beersheba, Beit Shean, Dimona, Kfar Saba, Carmiel, Majdal Shams, Modiin, Maccabim-Reut, Ma'alot Tarshiha, Netanya, Afula, Petah Tikva, Katzrin, Kiryat Ono and Kiryat Malachi, Rishon Lezion, Rahat and Rehovot are set to be added to the list as well.