Google Street View Scraper

"just because you're panoid doesn't mean they're not mapping you"

Update June 8th: Thanks for checking out my site, but I have been asked (nicely) by Google Legal's Senior Product Counsel to remove the code from this site. If you want more information on Google Street View, I recommend looking at the wherecamp wiki. Below is my correspondance with Michael Yang, who contacted me a couple days after this went live.

Warning!

Google Legal wrote this to me. You may want to exercise caution when using this program, and avoid using it to scrape imagery.
Hi Tom, 
Thanks so much for the quick response.

Your site was brought to my attention by the Google Maps team.  As best we can 
tell (and please tell us if we're wrong), the code you're offering on the site 
allows yourself and others to scrape images from our new Street View feature. 
While we're always excited to see developers interested in our services, the 
scraping of images from Street View is prohibited by our terms of service 
( http://www.google.com/intl/en_us/help/terms_maps.html).  We'd respectfully 
request that you remove the code from your site.

Best,
Mike
They certainly are being nice about asking me to take down the code, but I really don't think this code fits under their description of a violation of terms of service. Again, you really shouldn't use this program to scrape images. It's just meant to scrape the metadata.. that is the XML data associated with each panorama. Here's what I've written back to Mike Yang (Senior Product Counsel, Legal Dept / Google):
Hi Mike,

I am not encouraging anyone to scrape imagery off Google. In fact, all I'm 
doing is walking the metadata that details the Panoramas. This can be used to 
call up images from the API, but again, I am not encouraging anyone to scrape 
these.

I would like to see Google open up this API and document it. Our current 
documentation is at http://wherecamp.pbwiki.com/Hacking-Google-Street-View , 
but is far from complete. I believe the community at large would benefit from 
Google releasing this data in an open way, and allowing people to mashup the 
imagery since (at least for SF) is owned by Google and there are no licensing 
agreements with other companies like there is with Teleatlas and Google Maps' 
Baselayers.

I am adding your message to my website now to communicate clearly that I in no 
way wish the code to be used to scrape images, and that is not my intention.

If you have any questions or concerns, I of course will do my best to address 
them, I in no way wish to make any trouble for you, and I love Google Maps and
what you guys are doing for the geoweb. I only want to provide more tools to 
allow developers to use Street View in new and interesting ways.

Thanks,
Tom Longson
..waited a day for some feedback.
Hi Tom,
Thanks for the clarification.  We appreciate the suggestion, and will 
certainly let you (and the rest of the developer community) know when we have 
an official API.  In the meantime, though, I still have to request that you 
remove the code from your site.  As you note on your site, even if you aren't 
encouraging the scraping of images with the "Google Street View Scraper", the 
code is "meant to scrape the metadata".  The scraping of either images or 
metadata is prohibited under our terms of service. 

As before, we appreciate your interest in Street View.  Thanks in advance for 
your cooperation.

Best,
Mike 


Here's a picture from Google Maps Street view of some guy breaking into an apartment building (note, this url had to be updated because google changed their panoids):