Unconfirmed sources are reporting that Internet giant Google will unveil a new mapping service called River View. The service will allow users to view the shores of every navigable river in the United States. The interface will be accessible through Google Maps much like the existing service Street View.
To create the service Google outfitted a small navy of boats to survey thousands of miles of shoreline. The craft are equipped with cameras and GPS receivers similar to the cars used to make the Street View service. The boats have been at work for months and are reportedly close to finishing their task.
“We are very excited about this new service.” Says Google spokes person Cindy Clayton. “Rivers users of all types have been asking for service like this and it’s a natural extension of our existing Street View service. We are pleased by the reviews it’s gotten from the closed beta testers and are certain the public will find it useful and fun.”
Environmentalists and watershed preservation groups are especially excited about the Project. “This is a huge deal.” Says Samantha Gibbons of the Michigan Watershed Advisory Group. “We are always looking for way to communicate the importance of rivers too the public and this service will greatly help our efforts. It will also allow us to make a systematic study of the quality of rivers in watersheds all across the country.”
Not everybody is pleased with the River View program and it has already attracted the attention of privacy groups in much the same way the Street View service had. Privacy groups are concerned that River View cameras may have illegally infringed on river property owners rights.