When talking about Google I often mention the mission statement that dates back to the earliest days of Google and has remained a constant despite all of the changes and innovation that have happened since 1998.
The statement is actually still fundamental to what happens at Google and is for me a rich source of material to talk about.. for example the meaning of “useful” or “accessible” is key to understanding many of Google’s Geo products and Services.
Along these lines “universally” I think has two key meaning, universal in terms of who and where the user looking for information is, and universal in respect to the very geographical concept of coverage.
Since 2005 Google Maps coverage has expanded to cover (with a few exceptions) every country with both imagery and street maps. For the last 5 years Street View coverage has also expanded and as of this week the team has begun collecting Street View imagery in the wonderful African nation of Botswana.
Capturing and processing Street View Imagery is a huge task far more complex that creating street maps, but you only need to ask anyone who has used Street View how useful it is.. so if is useful to a user in Guildford will it not be as useful to a user in Gaborone ?
Written and submitted from home (51.425N, 0.331W)