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Google's controversial Street View covers Antarctica

Street View now covers all seven continents, but not Brazil or Ireland.

Internet search company Google has extended its Street View mapping service to Antarctica, thereby establishing its presence on all the seven continents.

Google users will soon be able to navigate around Antarctica's landscape and coastline of snow-capped peaks, ice-bergs and penguin colonies, all captured by the company's numerous cameras.

For now, Street View images of the continent comprise user-contributed pictures of penguins on Half Moon Island and panoramic shots.

Vice-President of engineering at Google Earth and Maps, Brian McClendon who announced Street View's expansion into the southern-most continent, also said that the service would be launched in Ireland and Brazil this week.

"We hope this new imagery will help people in Ireland, Brazil, and even the penguins of Antarctica to navigate nearby, as well as enable people around the world to learn more about these areas," wrote McClendon on the Google blog on Sunday.

Google launched Street View in 2007. Since then the service has received mixed reactions especially in Europe where concerns of privacy and intrusion have led to protests against the company.