Google has taken its mapping technology one step further by giving users 360-degree vistas of mapped streets from the kerbside.

At the same time, Microsoft has added new photo-realistic three-dimensional imaging to its mapping service in what is becoming a race to grab a larger slice of the rapidly growing digital cartography market.

Google has launched the Street View application for Google Maps, which provides a street level picture of downtown areas of New York, Denver, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Miami.

Users are able to view and navigate with a 360-degree view of the selected cities.

Google said it planned to roll out the service to metropolitan areas in other Google regions including Australia although there was no timetable as yet.

Get the full story at The Age