Google launches Street View in Greece after spat

Google has launched its Street View map service in Greece after winning approval from the privacy authority that blocked the ground-level map application five years ago.

Company officials said the service went live Thursday after «extensive and detailed» negotiations with the country's Data Protection Authority, which last year lifted objections made to the project in 2009.

Culture Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos attended a launch event in central Athens and said the map service would help the crisis-hit country's vital tourism industry, describing Greece as an «endless archaeological park."

Google was allowed to gather photos for Street View while waiting for formal approval to start the service, and had been permitted to display cultural sites on a related service. [AP]