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Google Maps users will soon be able to virtually explore Sharjah

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Sharjah: Google Maps users will soon be able to virtually explore Sharjah, navigate its streets, and neighbourhoods through panoramic street-level images, as Google and the Sharjah Urban Planning Council announced on Saturday the launch of Street View in Sharjah, making it the second Arab city to have the feature in the region.

Street View was launched in May 2007 and is already available in more than 3,000 cities across 63 countries around the world. Google Street View imagery provides users with a rich, immersive browsing experience and allows users to explore world landmarks, view natural wonders, navigate a trip or other points of interest.

Street View imagery is gathered by a vehicle equipped with advanced imaging technology — a camera mounted on the roof of a car that collects imagery and location data. After collection, the imagery is stitched together to create the 360° panoramic images that allow you to move around and explore locations as if you were there.

Through the feature, users can check out a restaurant or hotels before arriving or arranging meeting points. House-hunters can save time not only by exploring properties they are interested in but also their surrounding area in advance which will make selection of property they are interested in more efficient.

Businesses can also benefit from the Street View technology by embedding Google Maps directly into their site, helping them to promote a hotel or increase awareness of a local store or restaurant. Tourists will instantly be able to check the surroundings of a hotel without taking a risk.

Shaikh Khalid Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Urban Planning Council said, “We’re delighted to partner with Google to bring Street View to Sharjah. This technology has been successfully implemented in leading cities all over the world, and we welcome the additional convenience it will bring to residents and businesses in Sharjah, to make it even easier for them to navigate the streets of the emirate. Moreover, people outside Sharjah and prospective visitors can experience panoramic views of the emirate’s spectacular natural landscape and the many landmarks that make it the centre of culture in the region.”

Antony Mcloughlin, Street View program manager at Google, said: “We are very excited to extend Street View to Sharjah. Wherever we have launched this feature around the world, we received an amazing response from users and businesses.”

Sharon Shetty

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