As if I needed another time waster! Actually, though, I ran across this while researching a restaurant in Paris for the novel I'm currently writing. I use Google Maps a lot to refresh my memory, and yesterday I noticed the 'street view' option. I could see everything my characters would see if they were looking out from the restaurant - and I quickly became hooked!
Of course, I checked out my own London address to see if it was available on Street View - and there it was. As the day went on, I discovered Google had just launched Street View in the UK, enabling viewers to see twenty-odd cities across the country. With the predicted outcry about invasion of privacy, Google quicky responded that they've blurred all faces and car registration numbers - although Twitterers were able to find many examples where this was not so.
They also uncovered these hilarious photos that somehow made it onto Google Street View (a few were removed after users complained yesterday):
A warm welcome off of Commerical Road, East London.
Cleaning the pavement in Hackney. Gross.
A lesson for all fare-dodgers: Don't. Or you'll end up in Google.
(Thanks to Londonist for the photos.)