Google Maps service adds photos of Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Google has added Alabama to the list of areas for which panoramic photos are available on its popular map service.

The addition of Alabama and several other states to the service Tuesday was part of a doubling of the area covered by the service across the country.

Google spokeswoman Elaine Filadelfo said the photos were shot within the past year by company contractors driving around the state with automated cameras attached to their vehicles.

The cameras take a 360-degree image every few seconds, and all photos were shot from public streets. Users can virtually walk down a street, moving about a half block in city traffic with each click of the mouse. Software automatically blurs the faces of people and license tags on cars to allay privacy concerns.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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