Greater Buenos Aires via MercoPress

During an interview on Radio La Red, Federico Procaccini, CEO of Google Argentina, announced that the company is hoping to include the informal housing developments known as villas located Buenos Aires within their Street View platform soon. The mapping system allows users to get panoramic views of thousands of streets around the world right from a computer or a smartphone.

According to Procaccini, Google is currently working with two non-profit organizations, Un Techo para Mi País (TECHO) and the Civil Association for Equality and Justice (ACIJ), to take their technology to neighborhoods like villas 20 and 31 in the City of Buenos Aires, and to Los Pinos, Escobar, in Greater Buenos Aires.

The main objective is to quite literally put these neighborhoods on the map, using technology to give “social and economic development to those places because at the end of the day, people can go navigate villas just like they explore any other district, and it’s terrific people have that opportunity,” Procaccini explained.

As an answer to the call made by the organisations mentioned earlier, groups of neighbors have worked together to capture images along the streets of Villa Alberti, in La Tablada, and San Cayetano, in González Catán. In each neighborhood, both part of La Matanza in Southern Buenos Aires, seven people wandered along the streets every day. One noble volunteer had to carry the special camera that provides the 360 view on his back because the traditional Street View car was too wide for most of the streets in the area.

Pablo García Lazo, general director of the West TECHO office, mentioned in conversation with Clarín, that this mapping initiative would help public services, ambulances, firetrucks and police to access the neighborhoods.

“It’s about giving prominence to the place, their stores and points of interest”.