Somewhat OT: Google Street View

Discussion in 'Broadband' started by Roger Mills, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. Roger Mills

    Roger Mills Guest

    Google Street View seems to be in the news again over allegations that
    they have gathered lots of personal data from unsecured WiFi systems.

    If nothing else, it might provide a wake-up call to encourage people to
    secure their systems!

    Can anyone throw any light on Google's business model for doing all
    this? The cost of driving their camera-equipped cars along every road on
    the planet[1] must be colossal. Presumably this must somehow generate a
    commensurate amount of revenue - but I struggle to understand how.

    [1] Well, the western world, at any rate - they don't appear to have
    done much in Russia or China! But I was amazed to find that Street View
    covers a rural area in NSW (Australia) which I shall soon be visiting.
    Some relatives of mine live right out in the sticks, and a rural road
    within about 2 Km of their property (which probably only carries a
    handful of vehicles per day) can be seen on Street View.
    Please reply to Newsgroup. Whilst email address is valid, it is seldom
    Roger Mills, Oct 25, 2010
    1. Advertisements

  2. Roger Mills

    Adrian Guest


    To be fair, though, there do appear to be a lot fewer unsecured access
    points these days - pretty much only the BT back-door networks, and they
    all require a login anyway.
    Simple. StreetView drives a load of traffic to Google's site. As a
    result, they can attract more advertisers and charge more for advertising
    - even before you consider the location-specific advertising on maps &
    They haven't done my road, in the middle of town, less than a mile from
    the M25 and about 250m from the station...
    Adrian, Oct 25, 2010
    1. Advertisements

  3. Roger Mills

    Jim Guest

    Out of the two major map data suppliers, Navteq is owned by Nokia,
    Teleatlas by TomTom.

    As such, by gathering their own data about the road network it allows them
    to offer map and navigation services without paying licensing fees to their

    Most of their revenue comes from selling advertising alongside free
    services, of course.
    Jim, Oct 25, 2010
  4. Roger Mills

    Vortex7 Guest

    The numbers are stunning. Look at:

    in 2009:

    revenue 23.6 Gigadollars

    costs and expenses 15.3 Gigadollars

    so operational income 8.3 Gigadollars = 35% of revenue!

    Wish I could do that......................
    Vortex7, Oct 25, 2010
  5. Roger Mills

    Roger Mills Guest

    Bear in mind that the images may be a couple of years or so old, so the
    house may not still look *exactly* as shown on StreetView. [My house
    still shows a garage door, which was bricked up and replaced with a
    window well over a year ago].

    It's jolly useful for visualising parts of a route though. I've been
    using it a lot for looking at places in Australia where I'm going to be
    driving in a few weeks time.

    But be warned - it uses a *lot* of bandwidth. I've already exceeded my
    quota for this month, and I don't usually get anywhere near it.
    Please reply to Newsgroup. Whilst email address is valid, it is seldom
    Roger Mills, Oct 25, 2010
  6. And it can tell you that you are outside number 20 when you are several
    houses away. If you can't read the house numbers, you may have a
    problem getting the right one.

    Adrian Simpson, Oct 25, 2010
  7. Roger Mills

    J B Guest

    Does Google carry adverts? Can't say I've ever noticed, sorry!
    Nor mine.
    We live in a 'clump' of four houses about a mile away from any other
    houses in either direction.
    From the west the Street View goes along the 'empty' county lane till
    about 300 yards before our house, then it stops!!
    J B, Oct 25, 2010
  8. Roger Mills

    BartC Guest

    Nor my road, which is a cul-de-sac. When I looked at the view from the road
    at the other end, I could see why: there was a garbage truck blocking the
    entrance, and they didn't bother to wait until it'd gone.

    Actually, considering they have done just about every other road in the
    country, it's odd that I've never seen one of their vehicles..
    BartC, Oct 26, 2010
  9. Roger Mills

    Adrian Guest

    I have. We waved to the one that passed the office - you can just about
    make out a colleague in the window - and I followed one down the only
    stretch of A413 not to be on StreetView yet...

    I think it's personal.
    Adrian, Oct 26, 2010
  10. Roger Mills

    Adrian Guest

    AdBlock Plus is your friend.
    Adrian, Oct 26, 2010
  11. Roger Mills

    Mark Goodge Guest

    You are slightly unusual in this respect, and - fortunately for Google, the
    website operators and their advertisers - most people are not like you.

    Mark Goodge, Oct 26, 2010
  12. Actually, acquired advert blindness is a major problem for web site
    advertising and why things like popups, pop-unders, flashing, adverts
    that obscure the page until you acknowledge them, etc., were developed.

    Google have been unusual in that they have insisted on text only
    adverts, which may actually improve the chances of them being read. (On
    the other hand, recent advertising, by Google, on the London underground
    railway systems, hints that they may be about to launch limited
    graphical advertising.
    David Woolley, Oct 26, 2010
  13. Adblock plus is a boon in these situations.

    Frankly the whole business model of click through and gratuitous
    consumer marketing n the Internet may be doomed. All the signs are that
    gratuitous consumer spending and the consumer market is almost dead in
    the water.

    people are (gasp) going back to buying out of necessity, based on value
    for money, not gratuitously, based on the latest but of marketing porn.
    The Natural Philosopher, Oct 26, 2010
  14. Roger Mills

    BartC Guest

    I suppose if I were to calculate the odds of seeing one, it wouldn't be so
    surprising. But I haven't, and it is.
    BartC, Oct 26, 2010
  15. For some reason, an old story has been re-woken.

    In my opinion, as several commentators have already said, the issue
    isn't so much google capturing the data and then discovering and
    admitting what they've done, as the fact that it seems that most home
    users of wifi routers aren't setting up any security at all.


    Denis McMahon
    Denis McMahon, Oct 26, 2010
  16. Roger Mills

    Mark Goodge Guest

    Possibly counter-intuitively, text adverts generally work better (for both
    advertisers and publishers) than the intrusive ones.
    Google already does graphical advertising. If you run Adsense on a website,
    you can opt in or out of displaying them.

    Mark Goodge, Oct 26, 2010
  17. Roger Mills

    Mike Barnes Guest

    Quite. It's too big.

    There's a similar problem with paper magazines, where they're making the
    content, especially the first page of a multi-page article, look (to me)
    like an advert. So I'm flicking through the pages in skip-the-crap mode
    and I find myself in the middle of an article I hadn't realise had
    Mike Barnes, Oct 27, 2010
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.