Google shows scrap side of Grafton

A not-so-flattering view of a Grafton street littered with rubbish before the clean-up.
A not-so-flattering view of a Grafton street littered with rubbish before the clean-up. Daily Examiner

AS timing goes, Google Street View’s tour of Grafton and surrounds could not have been worse.

In the past two weeks the world’s largest internet search engine toured the streets taking images for its increasingly popular street view service.

Unfortunately it seems to have coincided with Grafton and other centres having their streets littered with rubbish for the annual kerbside collection service and residents are now in for a nervous three-to-six month wait to see what will appear.

Proud tidy town residents and Clarence Valley Council were a little red-faced to discover Grafton and its surrounds could be broadcast to the world as a rubbish dump – and it’s all down to bad timing.

Mylneford resident Bruce Withey informed The Daily Examiner he saw a car, equipped with a satellite antenna and rotating object on its roof, driving down Clarence Way (Old Copmanhurst Road) Monday week ago.

“It looked exactly like the Google street level cars on the internet,” Mr Withey said.

Daily Examiner staff also reported seeing the car, with the famous Google logo on the side door and camera on top, late last week.

Images taken by the cars are used on Google’s street view technology, which provides internet users with 360° horizontal and 290° vertical panoramic views of millions of streets across the world.

Mr Withey said there was a ‘fair bit’ of rubbish outside the homes the car was travelling past – a sight he described as a ‘visual eyesore’.

“(It was) just the type of picture that we did not want recorded,” he said.

Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson said he ‘didn’t even know’ the car was visiting the region.

“Council didn’t receive any correspondence from Google,” Cr Williamson said.

“It looks like it was an unfortunate clash of dates.”

Cr Williamson said council would ‘wait and see’ what the images looked like.

“We’ll take action at a later date if need be,” he said.

Google Australia spokeswoman Annie Baxter said the new images would be online within three to six months, and would stay up for 18 months.

Ms Baxter was unable to confirm whether the street level car had in fact been in town, but said a fleet had hit Australia’s roads in late November last year.

“If you’ve spotted the car in your town, that’s the best indication,” she said.

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