New "Street View" in Google Maps is an idea which have both the faces. It frowns people as it peeps into their privacy. And on the other side, we can't stop ourselves admiring its technology and idea.
Google made contract with Immersive for licencing the idea of taking 360-degree street level images.
Vans are there roaming in the streets that captures the photos in different angles (I think somewhere I read it as 11 angles). This link explains about the SICK device used in the vans. The real time challenge is the image processing system where it collects all these images and give a proper images to the viewer. Somewhere, I read that they are using Nikon DLSR cameras.