New imagery replaces Street View shots taken between September 2007 and August 2008. Many new streets, subdivisions and sections of suburbs that were never in Street View Mark 1, now appear online. However some precincts, such as new streets within the former Kew Cottages development, in Melbourne, have not yet been updated.
In Australia Google is beginning to face competition from other online mapping providers including the popular www.nearmap.com.au, which has uploaded 15 new aerial images of Melbourne since 2009, and allows users to see a property from up to five angles (including, controversially, from the backyard).
However, only Google offers the Street View technology and its reach is greater. Australia is one of several countries within the hugely successful global Street View initiative.
Google used Street View to spring board into a real estate search engine business but this plan was canned in early 2011.
Coincidentally, six months later, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has started investigating Australia’s largest internet search engine, the $1.6 billion www.realestate.com.au, for adopting an aggressive price strategy while at the same time increasing its market dominance.
Real estate agencies have tried to get in on the potential advertising dollar pie, creating their own internet search engine, www.realestateview.com.au, and recently establishing suburban newspapers where revenue is mostly derived from real estate advertising.
Earlier this month, Google rival nearmap forged a relationship with burgeoning property information service provider RP Data, which would allow them to create and market map-based services.