Today, Indonesia’s ministry of tourism announced its partnership with Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG - News) StreetView program for Google Maps. As of today, Indonesians might come across a fleet of Google cars (pictured above) fitted with the famed cameras and ministry’s ‘Wonderful Indonesia’ logo driving and taking street-level photographs. This is happening, says Google, in “Jakarta and other major regional cities around the country” - so there’s no official list of StreetView destinations just yet.
Dr. Mari E. Pangestu, the minister of tourism, explains the partnership strategy:
We believe this mapping technology will have many different uses – allowing tourists to check out hotels before arriving, make travel plans, and arrange meeting points. And with these available digital tools, hotels, tourism sites and businesses can be more creative in making it easier for visitors to find their stores, location and websites.
Andrew McGlinchey, the product manager of Google, said that the pictures will be made available for users in the coming months. He also said that the company will ask Indonesian citizens to help choose where to drive in the near future.
Google notes that the company goes to great lengths in safeguarding users’ privacy with StreetView. This is done by blurring human faces and number plates of vehicles using Google’s technology. The company is also responsive to users’ request to blur any images that feature them.
This announcement was made during the Indonesian Creative Products Week which runs from November 21st to 25th. The event’s exhibition also features works from 15 sub-sectors of creative industries, which include digital games in the country. Japanese game publisher DeNA is present at the event to further help facilitate the knowledge transfer and possible cooperations with the local game developers and publishers.