On November 9th, Mexicans welcomed the afternoon filled with images: Google Street View, the service that takes high-quality photographs at the street level for major cities of the world, was released for Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, and other 5 Mexican cities. At the same time, some of those cities were updated with important informational layers, such as public transport routes, as well as locations for hospitals, movie theatres, and museums.
Early this year several users recognized Google’s car, equipped with camera that takes 360° horizontal and 290° vertical panoramic photos. Mexico is the first Latin American country to have its streets digitally mapped, which nowadays includes many cities of United States and Canada, as well as countries from Europe, Asia, and Oceania.
Mexicans showed mostly positive reactions to the service, although some expressed natural concerns for their privacy. User hekma expressed on Twitter [es]:
Mi jefe vio Google street View en Mexico y comenzo a tener panico… demasiado diria yo…
Another common first reaction to the service is to look for someone's house or office. Twitter user Rafaesp [es] did this and found his mother in front of his house:
Orales, en la foto de mi casa de Google Street View Mexico, sale mi madre recibiendo una notificacion para mi del IEDF… .
Twitter user avomx considers [es] that the images of Street View unintentionally make a social commentary:
Muy buena herramienta, pero como que se ven feitas las paredes grafiteadas y las calles llenas de baches ¬_¬
User mexico_df also perceived a contrast [es] of the living conditions of the Mexicans:
Con google maps Mexico view street puedes ver algunos contrastes de nuestra ciudad casas de cartón y residencias inimaginables. Interesante
Few days after its release, users were already developing useful projects with one of the most frequent uses of Google Street View: virtual tours. The blogger that is known as Juan Crouset provides historical details of the city of Monterrey in his posts [es], and has taken Street View to guide his readers [es] through old constructions. This makes an interesting contrast with his regular contributions that usually are supported with historical documents and photographs. A sample of his work:
Juan Alvarez con Guadalupe Victoria, colonia Industrial. Muy cerca de la central de autobuses. Casa de influencia americana, probablemente construida para trabajadores de alguna empresa cercana. Muchas construcciones que se cubrieron originalmente con techos de lámina, se encuentran en muy buenas condiciones gracias a la excelente capacidad de los techos de metal para evitar la filtración de humedad, ésto a pesar de encontrarse abandonadas algunas de ellas.
Several newspapers have already made coverage of the service, including collections of images that show urban decay in Mexico City [es].