Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat on a Google tricycle on a backdrop of the Old City of Jerusalem
Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat on a Google tricycle on a backdrop of the Old City of Jerusalem, April 16, 2012. Photo by Emil Salman
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Your friends abroad may be able to see where you live starting Sunday, when Google launches its Street View service for Israel.

The service, which has been approved by the Justice Ministry, includes images of public places in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and other cities, including popular tourist sites.

Israel will be joining dozens of other countries around the world whose streets or historic sites can be browsed by anyone, anywhere with an Internet connection.

Google Israel CEO Meir Brand said the images, which are photographed by specially equipped Google cars, do not show any sites in real time.

"We only photograph public areas that are accessible to anyone in any case," he said. "We do not post real-time photographs. We blur faces and license plate numbers, and there is another blurring method, whereby anyone using the service who sees something he thinks should be blurred can do so."

The service has been criticized for invading people's privacy.

Earlier this month, the Israel Museum became the country's only museum to showcase some of its exhibits online, as part of another program called the Google Art Project.

As part of the project, Google works with 151 museums around the world to post high-resolution photographs of artwork and artifacts online.

Read this article in Hebrew.