Zooming Way In

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We can now take a drive through Wrigleyville without ever getting in the car. See who's waiting at the bus stop, read the time and even get a feel for certain neighborhoods before reserving a hotel room.

"There's been time I've gone on line and looked up a place to stay and it's not quite what you thought. It would be nice to get a better view," says Sparky Powell, President of K.W. Powell Associates.

Powell's advertising business takes him out of town two-to-three times a week. And with Google's new "street view" he can zoom in, spin 360 degrees and get familiar with his next trip. But some feel stalkers can get familiar as well.

"By being out in the public you give up any right to privacy because you're in the public," says Rock Valley College Criminal Justice Professor Tom Alisankus.

Alisankus says Google's street view can also cause problems in preventing terrorism.

"We've been trained to have that suspicious eye towards the person with the camera the person who's hanging around taking pictures of things we wouldn't think a tourist is interested in," he says.

However, highly secured buildings such as court houses and post offices can't be seen from the virtual street level. And only major roads are visible. Plus since photos are from different times and never live, Alisankus and Powell believe no major threat is there. No word on whether Rockford is a candidate.

Here's a list of other cities participating in this new Google feature:

San Francisco
New York
Los Angeles

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