There’s more to Google Street View than entertainment and not getting lost, it seems. Authorities have used it, along with GPS tracking from a cell phone, to locate a nine-year-old girl reportedly taken by her grandmother.
The problem began after Rose Maltais collected her granddaughter Natalie from her guardians for a weekend away.
Athol, Massachusetts, police chief Timothy Anderson told the BBC that Rose Maltais "said that she wasn’t going to return Natalie and then left the state."
The police decided to track down the pair using Natalie’s cell phone. Under law, cell phone providers must be able to locate 67% of callers within 100 meters and 95% of callers within 300 meters. AT&T was able to provide co-ordinates every time the phone was used.
With mapping software, Athol deputy fire chief Thomas Lozier could locate the co-ordinates he’d been given by the police, then used Google Maps and Google Street View to find the location, which was a motel in Natural Bridge, Virginia.
Virginia State Police were alerted, and found the girl and her grandmother.
- Waze vs. Google Maps: Which one is right for you?
- Apple Maps vs. Google Maps: Which one is best for you?
- Google Maps adds coronavirus warning to doctor or medical facility searches
- Psst! Google Maps’ privacy-focused Incognito Mode is nearly here
- Google Maps will now warn you about disasters and tell you how fast you’re going