German court last month declared street-level photography by Street View's car-mounted cameras to be legal when it dismissed a lawsuit alleging personal and property rights violations on the part of Google's Street View service. Despite the legal victory, and contrary to what most people might have expected, the company has decided against returning to the streets of Germany with the camera-toting vehicles it uses to collect street imagery for its popular Google Maps and Google Earth services.
"As we announced in January, we have no plans to launch new imagery on Street View in Germany at this stage. Our user priority is to use our Google cars to collect data such as street names and road signs to improve our basic maps for our users in a similar way that other mapping companies do,” a Google spokesperson told The Register.
That said, users will continue to have access to the existing street imagery from the 20 German cities already covered by the service. It isn't clear what exactly effected this change in priority or whether the internet giant remains open to reconsidering the decision at a later date.