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Google's Street View arrives in France

Good news for virtual tourists or natives who can't keep their Parisian arrondisments straight: Google Maps Street View has come to France.

Google Maps Street View in France.
Google Maps Street View has come to France. Blue lines on roads indicate where the view is available. CNET News

Google has begun expanding its Street View feature of Google Maps to several major cities in France, the first European country to get the Internet giant's driver's-eye view.

"We've added coverage for six major cities in France: Paris, Lyon, Lille, Toulouse, Marseille, and Nice," Luc Vincent, engineering director of Street View and a native of France, said Wednesday in a blog. "France is the first country in Europe to benefit from Street View imagery, and I'm delighted that many of my favorite places are included in the new coverage, including the street where I grew up."

Google gave a preview of coming attractions in July by showing Street View for the Tour de France bicycle race route.

Street View has raised privacy hackles, but Google now blurs faces in Street View to ameliorate concerns.

Update 9:35 a.m. PDT: Google declined to detail when Street View will spread to other parts of Europe. "We have been taking photographs to bring Street View to Europe and we will be adding Street View imagery for new cities and countries on an ongoing basis," the company said in a statement.

(Via Google Blogoscoped.)