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Google Bans Online Ordering of Marijuana: Report

Google is not the first Internet giant that has prohibited in-app sale of cannabis for users

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

Google is banning online ordering and delivering of marijuana via apps downloaded from its Play Store, according to the latest update to its policy guidelines.

Google said it does not allow apps to facilitate the sale of marijuana or marijuana products, no matter if they are legal or not.

Like some states, California legalised sale and consumption of cannabis for recreational purposes for adults aged 21 years and older in January 2018, even though marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

Google’s new rule bans users from ordering marijuana through an in-app shopping cart feature, or assisting people in arranging delivery or pickup of marijuana.

Marijuana plants for sale are displayed at the medical marijuana farmers market at the California Heritage Market in Los Angeles, July 11, 2014. (VOA)

Google said the updated policy aims to keep the Play Store “a safe and respectful platform” by creating standards against the content that is harmful or inappropriate for its users.

Google is not the first Internet giant that has prohibited in-app sale of cannabis for users.

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Apple’s App Store has already placed a ban on facilitating the sale of marijuana, tobacco, or controlled substances and on any move to encourage consumption of tobacco products and illegal drugs via apps bought from the store. (IANS)

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Google Maps Captures Over 10 mn Miles of Street View Imagery

The company collects street imagery via a fleet of Street View cars, each equipped with nine cameras that capture high-definition imagery from every vantage point possible

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Google Maps
There's also the Street View trekker on Google Maps, a backpack that collects imagery from places where driving isn't possible.

Google Maps have captured more than 10 million miles of Street View imagery – a distance that could circle the globe over 400 times.

The company announced on Friday that Google Earth now lets people browse more than 36 million square miles of high definition satellite images from various providers – covering more than 98 per cent of the entire population – to see the world from above.

“While these stunning photos show us parts of the world we may never get a chance to visit, they also help Google Maps accurately model a world that is changing each day,” said Thomas Escobar, Senior Product Manager, Google Maps.

The idea of Street View started as a side project more than 12 years ago as part of a goal to map the entire world.

The company collects street imagery via a fleet of Street View cars, each equipped with nine cameras that capture high-definition imagery from every vantage point possible.

“These cameras are athermal, meaning that theya�re designed to handle extreme temperatures without changing focus so they can function in a range of environments,” Escobar added.

Each Street View car includes its own photo processing center and lidar sensors that use laser beams to accurately measure distance.

There’s also the Street View trekker, a backpack that collects imagery from places where driving isn’t possible.

These trekkers are carried by boats, sheep, camels, and even scout troops to gather high quality photos from multiple angles, often in some of the hardest-to-map places around the world.

Google Maps
Google Maps have captured more than 10 million miles of Street View imagery – a distance that could circle the globe over 400 times. Pixabay

In 2019 alone, Street View images from the Google Maps community have helped the company assign addresses to nearly seven million buildings in previously under-mapped places like Armenia, Bermuda, Lebanon, Myanmar, Tonga, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe.

Once Google collects photos, it uses a technique called photogrammetry to align and stitch together a single set of images.

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“These images show us critically important details about an area-things like roads, lane markings, buildings and rivers, along with the precise distance between each of these objects. All of this information is gathered without ever needing to set foot in the location itself,” said Google. (IANS)