What's Google? "Street View" worker stopped for spying

What's Google? "Street View" worker stopped for spying

To the villagers at Ban Sa-iap, in Song district of Phrae province on Wednesday, something was not right about a car travelling slowly through their area.

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Sa-iab villagers in Song district of Phrae province stay with a Google car entering their village.

What's Google? "Street View" worker stopped for spying

To the villagers at Ban Sa-iap, in Song district of Phrae province on Wednesday, something was not right about a car travelling slowly through their area.

It had a large, high-tech camera on the roof attached to a turret and the car appeared to be full of equipment.

The only explanation, the suspicious villagers thought, was that the driver had been sent by the government to conduct a survey for a controversial dam project that has stirred much local opposition.

Deeprom Phongphon, right, a Google worker is taken by villagers to swear at a temple that he was not working for a government on Tuesday.

They surrounded the man's car and questioned him.

The man vehemently denied he had anything to do with a dam survey. Instead, he worked for a company called Google and he was photographing the area for something called "Street View" which they could soon see on the internet.

Not completely satisfied, the villagers took him to Wat Don Chai in the village to swear in front of a statue of Buddha that he was not working for the government.

Devout locals said the man would face bad luck within a week if he lied in front of the Buddha's image.

Later, when it was confirmed that the man was really a Google Street View worker, the villagers apologised.

The villagers also said in a statement on a Facebook page for locals opposing the Kaeng Suea Ten dam that they welcome Google if the firm sends a worker to the area in the future.

A scene from Google Street View at the edge of Chiang Mai city. Similar scenes should soon be available from Phrae.

Launched in 2007, Google Street View is a programme giving panoramic street-level photographs of towns and cities across the world, allowing viewers to take virtual tours.

Adapted from a Bangkok Post, AFP story in today's Bangkok Post.

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  • apologise: to say you are sorry for doing something wrong or for causing a problem - ขอโทษ
  • appear: to seem - ดูเหมือนจะ, ดูเหมือนว่า
  • attached (verb): fastened or joined together - ติดกัน, ต่อ, ยึดติด
  • conduct: to carry out — - ดำเนิน
  • controversial: causing disagreement or disapproval - ซึ่งก่อให้เกิดการโต้แย้ง
  • dam: a wall built across a river to stop the water from flowing, especially in order to create a lake or to help to produce electric power - เขื่อน
  • deny: to say that something is not true - ปฏิเสธ
  • devout (adj.): believing strongly in a particular religion and obeying its laws and practices - ซึ่งมีใจศรัทธา, จริงใจ
  • firm: a business or company - บริษัท
  • high-tech: using the most modern methods and machines, especially electronic ones - ซึ่งใช้เทคโนโลยีชั้นสูง
  • image: a photograph, painting, or other work of art that represents a person or thing - รูปภาพ
  • launch: to start selling a new product or service to the public - เริ่มวางขาย
  • lie: to deliberately say something that is not true - โกหก, พูดเท็จ
  • local: in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about - ท้องถิ่น
  • locals: people who live in a particular place - ชาวบ้าน
  • opposition: strong disagreement with a plan or policy - ความขัดแย้ง
  • panoramic (adj.): of a view in from which you can see a wide area of land - ทัศนียภาพทั้งหมด
  • satisfied (adjective): believing or accepting that something is true or acceptable - พอใจ
  • spying: secretly collecting and reporting information about the activities of another country or organisation - การจารกรรม
  • statue: a human or animal image that is made of stone, wood, metal, etc. - รูปปั้น
  • stir: to say or do things that cause trouble between people - ปลุกเร้า
  • surround: to be everywhere around someone/something; encircle - ล้อมรอบ
  • survey: the act of examining and recording the measurements, features, etc. of an area of land - การสำรวจ, การหาข้อมูล
  • suspicious: a feeling that someone or something cannot be trusted — - มีความสงสัย, ด้วยความสงสัย, สงสัย, พิรุธ
  • swear (verb): to formally promise to do something; to promise that you are telling the truth - สาบาน, ยืนยัน
  • turret (noun): a small metal tower on a ship, plane or tank that can usually turn around and, in military vehicles, from which guns are fired - แท่นหมุนหกมุม
  • vehemently: showing very strong feelings, especially anger - อย่างรุนแรง, อย่างรุ่มร้อน
  • virtual (adj): using images and often sounds that are produced by a computer and connected equipment to make the user feel as if they are in real three-dimensional space - สภาวะเสมือนจริงที่จำลองโดยเทคนิคทางคอมพิวเตอร์

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