Google launched its Street View service in the UK last night, allowing Brits to wander the streets of 25 cities without leaving their computers, the Guardian reports. The 3-D maps allow 360-degree views of cities from London to Edinburgh. Specially equipped cars traveled 22,639 miles of British roads over about a year, taking pictures that show the country before economic woes altered its look.
In the shots, now-closed chains like Woolworths are visible. Street View has sparked controversy in the US and UK over privacy issues, but Google reps say the service just allows the detail you’d be able to see driving down the road yourself. Faces are blurred, and spaces closed to the public, like 10 Downing Street, are left out.