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Smile! You're on Google Street View

Sandy part of Portland-area 'mapping'

Since Google Maps unveiled its Street View tool in May, Web surfers have been able to see images of New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas and Chicago at street level.

Oh, and add Sandy to that list.

The city joined the Internet giant's inventory of extensively photographed locales in early October, when it released imagery of the greater Portland area, according to Kat Malinowska, a Google spokeswoman.

Users can cruise down Highway 26, getting good views of Joe's Donuts, the city's gateway water fountain, the library and the Sandy Historical Museum. The also can explore many of the city's residential streets, where addresses and cars may be spotted.

Coverage stretches from Orient Drive at the west end of town onto Highway 26 and all the way to Langensand Road at the east end of the city. Street View includes the entire length of Bluff Road at the north end and the intersection of 362nd Avenue and Highway 211 to the south. Neighborhood coverage also stretches north to south from Scenic Street to Dubarko Road.

The Cottrell and Bull Run communities also are included. It's all a part of Google's ultimate goal, which is to provide street views of the entire world.

Street View has been controversial due to privacy concerns. Images have shown people walking down the street and engaging in various activities. In some cases, license plates are visible.

Google maintains that all of its photos are taken from public rights-of-way and that users may flag any inappropriate or sensitive images for Google to review and remove.

Malinowska couldn't pinpoint exactly when Google personnel photographed Sandy, but she said that generally the imagery is between a year and six months old.

Other communities captured in the Portland-area Street View include Beaverton, Lake Oswego, Clackamas, Gresham, Fairview, Troutdale, Vancouver, Wash., Corbett, Milwaukie and Wood Village.


Other streets to view

Currently the Google Maps Street View tool provides ground-level imagery of 15 metropolitan areas around the country, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Providence, Houston, Miami, Denver, Orlando, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth, Tucscon, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Portland.

For more information, visit http://maps.google.com.