Car Mounted Cameras
Google fleet cars use several different types of cameras for different scenarios. Described as 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation, these cameras are all capable of taking panoramic images every 10-20 metres at a height of 2.5 metres above the ground.
Usually the cameras are attached to mounting rigs on the top of the Street View fleet of cars, and can provide 360 degrees horizontal and 290 degrees vertical views.
Picture quality has varied since the launch of Google Street View. The first three generations of camera provided a lower quality resolution (with the 1st generation images in the USA, quickly substituted after launch, for images from a better camera) while the current 4th generation cameras offer a near-HD quality Street View experience.
The Google Street View Fleet doesn’t just collect photos, either. Street View Fleet has been used to enhance Google Maps with information about wireless hotspots in town and cities. 3G, GSM and WiFi antennas are used to collect this data, which can be accurately pinpointed thanks to the GPS tracking used to get the most accurate positioning for the fleet.
So wonder no more! “How does Google Maps get Streetview photos?" – now you know!