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TfL to take Google Steet View to Underground


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Woman using mobile phone on Underground platform
Image source: TfL

Transport for London (TfL) has launched a collaboration with Google to provide the Street View application to a number of Underground stations across the city.

It said the project will involve the use of cameras that capture 360-degree images to develop virtual representations of around 30 of the busiest stations, including Green Park, King’s Cross St Pancras and Waterloo. They will identify key facilities such as toilets and help points.

This is aimed at helping customers plan their journeys by showing routes through the stations.

In particular, TfL hopes this will be beneficial to customers with accessibility needs or people who are unfamiliar with travelling in the capital.

It said that Google will begin collecting Street View imagery over the coming weeks with posters placed at stations to alert customers when imagery capture may occur. The images will be collected by a small team organised by Google between 10am to 4pm to avoid peak hours, using a 360-degree backpack camera.

Blurring precaution

The company’s blurring technology will then be applied to the imagery, which is designed to automatically blur identifiable faces before publishing. 

TfL conducted a data protection impact assessment and signed an agreement before deciding to permit Google to collect imagery for this project.

The images will be made publicly available throughout 2024.

Deputy Mayor for Transport, Seb Dance, said: “This exciting new project will give people the ability to plan their routes on the London Underground in the same way they would when walking and cycling across the city. Introducing Street View will support people to better navigate some of the capital's busiest stations and help us to build a better, more accessible London for all.”

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