The Riveting ‘Revelations’ of Google Street View Imagery

Michael Roberts

About 4-5 years back I recall seeing a google satellite image of the driveway to our house in Adelaide. It registered only vaguely and I did not reflect upon its marvels and implications.  But on 1st October this year young Asela Atukorala from Adelaide sent this circular note:  Hi all, I wrote a new blog post “Showcasing Sri Lanka from Google Street View” about Sri Lanka’s coverage within Google StreetView. Google released coverage of Sri Lankan roads in Google StreetView this March, and in my post I embed areas of Sri Lanka which include Colombo, Galle, Kandy, Point Pedro, Batticaloa, Mullaitivu, Mannar Island, Ja-Ela and Negombo. You can explore the Sri Lankan roads in my blog post.

If you’re interested you can see it here,

 Best Regards,  Asela



 A cricketing ‘enemy’ of mine from schooldays responded to Asela’s hint and was absolutely enraptured. He sent me this note: Mike. Beautiful images of your old haunt Galle Fort. I took a virtual tour round the ramparts. Nandi.”

nandi Nandi with Vasu

 Nandasiri Jasentuliyana, let me stress, is no ordinary joe. He is a  top-rung lawyer specializing in space law and was at one time a Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and the Deputy Director-General, United Nations Office at Vienna…. SEE

Well, even us specialists have our weaknesses. Gerald Peris is a geographer, demographer, economist and analyst versed in this arena. He brought me (and thus implicitly Nandi) down to earth.


There is nothing new in this Googles Earth ‘street views’ etc. We use it frequently for looking at housing sites advertised for sale in Kandy for possible purchase by my son.

A satellite image ‘street view’ of our home on Primrose Road in attached just to illustrate the possibilities Googles provide. Similar images could be obtained from all angles of any feature on the earth’s surface. This fact is directly relevant to… [ah, await an important extension … in Thuppahi soon]



ADDENDUM, Note from Gerald Peiris, 4 Oct 2016: 

Michael, This message comes to you with apologies for the disgraceful error made in my earlier e-mail, … I came to know earlier this morning that Google ‘Street-View’ imagery is available on SL only for the urban areas, and that too only since about 18 months ago. It is said to be based on terrestrial rather than space photography ...

***   ***


Google Launches Street View Imagery of Sri Lanka,” 16 May 2016,

Google today announced that Street View imagery of Sri Lanka is now available on Google Maps. This means people in Sri Lanka and around the world can now view and experience the rich history and natural beauty of Sri Lanka in 360-degree panoramic imagery from their phone, tablet or computer.


Today’s launch brings the total number of countries where Street View is available to 76. Street View is a popular feature in Google Maps, that allows people to virtually explore and navigate places.People can access street-level imagery by zooming into the location on Google Maps, or by dragging the orange “Pegman” icon from the bottom right-hand corner of the map onto a blue highlighted street.


Google began driving in Sri Lanka in December 2014 and finished collecting imagery in February this year. From the bustle of downtown Colombo, to the cool tea plantation hills, Sri Lanka’s landscape is as beautiful as it is diverse. To capture this imagery, Google drove close to 50,000 kilometers across every state and province so you can virtually explore this beautiful landscape from coast to coast.


Sri Lanka has become a burgeoning popular tourism destination, with the numbers of tourists heading to the island nation growing by almost 20% each year.  In 2015, 1.8 million tourists visited the country. By bringing Street View to Sri Lanka, Google hopes to create a new way of showcasing Sri Lanka’s beauty to the world while helping strengthen the country’s already burgeoning tourism trade.


We are delighted to bring  imagery of Sri Lanka to Street View on Google Maps” said Helena Lersch, Public Policy ManagerGoogle. “Sri Lanka is already a popular tourist destination, and we hope Street View will make the country even more accessible to people interested in exploring and visiting here. Whether you continue your journey in Google Maps or are inspired to visit in person, we invite you to  enjoy the Land of Lions” she continued.


Stay tuned as more beautiful images of Sri Lanka come to Street View over the coming months. You can see a gallery of highlights of the Street View collection here:


Link to the Blogpost for more details

About Google Inc.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google in September 1998. Since then, the company has grown to more than 50,000 employees worldwide, with a wide range of popular products and platforms like Search, Maps, Ads, Gmail, Android, Chrome, and YouTube.

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