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Debunking the Google Earth Censorship Myth

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the just-what-they-want-you-to-think dept.

Censorship 294

waderoush writes "There's a persistent Web meme to the effect that Google obscures sensitive or top-secret locations in Google Maps and Google Earth at the insistence of national governments. A July IT Security article promoted on Digg, 'Blurred Out: 51 Things You Aren't Allowed to See on Google Maps,' revived this notion. But the article has been widely criticized, and I did some fact-checking this week on the six Boston-area locations mentioned in the IT Security list. As it turns out, not one of the allegedly blurred locations has degraded imagery in Google Maps, as my screen shots demonstrate. My post looks into the sources of the misleading IT Security piece, and of other mistaken rumors about Google Maps."

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So what about the other 45 locations? (2, Insightful)

toby (759) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181603)

Nice work on Boston, champ.

Re:So what about the other 45 locations? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181609)

So im sitting in the break room reading my baby book trying to eat my food with out throwing it back up and the workers from the sweatshop came in and start heating their food. No Big Deal, they have to eat too.

BUT then I start to smell this horrible smell......what ever they are cooking smells so bad! OMG!! It smelled like Dirty Nasty Stank Vagina. Like a vagina that hasnt been washed with soap in 2 weeks. And now im starting to gag and my food is threating to come back up, which I know will not be pretty.

So now my lunch is runied cause one of the Asians decided to eat dirty vagina for lunch!

WTF? How can anyone even eat something that smells like that? I know all those guys bring left overs from dinner for lunch the next day and I know their wives cook them authentic Asian food and I love asian food. BUT WTH! Serioulsly what do they cook with to make their food smell like Vagina?

Re:So what about the other 45 locations? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181823)

Fish. That's probably Red Snapper - that fish smells quite strong.

Re:So what about the other 45 locations? (5, Informative)

Chrismith (911614) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181711)

I only looked at the first few locations on the list, but several of them were obviously blurred or pixelated -- the Naval Observatory in DC is a perfect blurry circle amid high-res imagery, and the Air Force Base listed as #4 looks like someone inserted a mosaic art piece over the image.

Did this guy really not look at these locations? Those were in the top five, and there are links to the Google Maps locations in question, for crying out loud.

Re:So what about the other 45 locations? (4, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181743)

Did this guy really not look at these locations?

Maybe google knows his IP address.

Re:So what about the other 45 locations? (1)

incripshin (580256) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181827)

This is true. Lincoln Laboratory and the neighboring Air Force Base were most definitely blurred. The article probably includes some dated information. I'm surprised that the AFB is now no longer blurred.

Re:So what about the other 45 locations? (3, Interesting)

museumpeace (735109) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181989)

I work at one of those facilities and know damn well that LAST YEAR a coarse resample was laid over the campus where I work. Google has recently [last two or 3 weeks i think] updated the imagery for eastern massachusetts. I know because my new neighbors house suddenly appeared in google satellite view and it went from winter imagery to summer...which is a huge drop in information, btw because of tree canopy. The newer images do not blur the facility I work at but then neither did the old ones when they first came out. Just give 'em time.

Re:So what about the other 45 locations? (1)

Brewskibrew (945086) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182311)

Maybe Google blurred out his article...

Re:So what about the other 45 locations? (1)

kenwd0elq (985465) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182333)

When Google Earth first went online, I checked things like the US Capitol and the White House; both showed only outlines. Now, the images are complete and quite good. The Naval Observatory is at a much lower resolution that the rest of DC; perhaps the Capitol and White House were only recently unblurred, and they haven't gotten back to the USNO. (That's a guess, of course; it's been a while since I looked.) Of the others in the IT Security article, most of the overhead imagery IS degraded. So waderoush's article is's COMPLETELY wrong; just MOSTLY wrong.

penis! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181607)

now that's what i'm talking 'bout...

Hmmm (1)

beckerist (985855) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181631)

Well their #1, the White House [google.com] worked, so I call shennanigans! GRAB YOUR BROOMS!!!

Re:Hmmm (1)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182293)

No they didnt mean 51 places blurred out they meant Area 51... You know where they have the Alien bodies hidden.

Right on time, the NSA pays off /. to debunk this. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181645)

Who should I believe? You, or my lying eyes?

Error establishing a database connection (4, Funny)

BeBoxer (14448) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181653)

Error establishing a database connection

They sure blurred him out fast.

Fact Checking Failure (1)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181655)

Google Earth = Google Maps? I think not. Also, the debunking photos link is dead.

Re:Fact Checking Failure (3, Insightful)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181739)

so you think Google spent twice the amount of money to use 2 separate satellite imaging services? or that they use two disparate censorship policies, so that if the government asks them to obfuscate the VP's residence they would only comply for one service but not the other?

i don't know if the summary is correct or not, but logic would suggest that Google would use the same satellite images for both sets of aerial maps, and if they were going to blur out a location in one service it would be done to the other as well.

Re:Fact Checking Failure (4, Informative)

maeka (518272) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181771)

All the higher-res images are airplane shots, not satellite. Why does this need constant reminding?

Re:Fact Checking Failure (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25182083)

Correct. How would they get a high res shot where there is a no-fly zone? It is not censorship, it is avoiding being shot out of the sky by missiles.

Re:Fact Checking Failure (-1, Offtopic)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182209)

Pfft. Pussies. Back when I was a kid we got shot by missiles all the time. Both ways.

Or and I mixing memes up?

Re:Fact Checking Failure (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181747)

Actually, Google Maps uses the same image database as Google Earth, so yes. It's just presented differently, and in some cases with added data (i.e. terrain). Go and look for yourself: zoom into any city street with both services and compare, the cars are identical on both.

Digg? Inaccurate? (4, Insightful)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181659)

You mean an article that was inaccurate or just flat out wrong was massively promoted on DIGG? No, I simply can't believe it.

Digg: It's like Slashdot if concussed monkeys took over.

Re:Digg? Inaccurate? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181755)

You mean it's like Slashdot, if the concussed monkeys took up drinking.

Re:Digg? Inaccurate? (4, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181799)

You mean it's like Slashdot, if the concussed monkeys took up drinking.

Hey! I resemble that remark.

Re:Digg? Inaccurate? (1)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182157)

Must be new here.

Re:Digg? Inaccurate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181813)

No, that's just Idle.

You know those candid photos of Some Random Partygoer who had one too many drinks and passed out on a vomit soaked couch? You remember how all those around him drew Sharpie dongs all over his face, perhaps slapped on some lipstick on and put a pair of skidmarked tighty-whiteys on his head?

Yeah, that's how Idle was born.

Re:Digg? Inaccurate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181841)

Wait. Are you telling me that kdawson is NOT a drunk, concussed monkey? Now I am totally confused.

Re:Digg? Inaccurate? (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181873)

Digg: It's like Slashdot if concussed monkeys took over.

So what you're saying is it's absolutely 100% identical? ;-)

Re:Digg? Inaccurate? (4, Insightful)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181905)

But with fewer dupes.

I'd say the main difference is that a much higher percentage of digg posters are raving morons, while Slashdot has more refined trolls.

Re:Digg? Inaccurate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25182155)

But with fewer dupes.

I'd say the main difference is that a much higher percentage of digg posters are raving morons, while Slashdot has more refined trolls.

I beg to differ.

And don't forget to pay your $699 licensing fee you cock-smoking teabaggers!!

Re:Digg? Inaccurate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181943)

No, they are ruled by concussed monkeys, we are ruled by drunken monkeys! Can't you see the difference!!!???

Re:Digg? Inaccurate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181899)

If by "inaccurate" you mean "almost every location is indeed blurred/pixelated as the article says", then yes.

On the other hand, my favorite Digg article was the one that declared Trig Palin was not Sarah Palin's daughter, but in fact Bristol Plain's daughter. That was a fun one.

Re:Digg? Inaccurate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181991)

Oh, you mean it's like Slashdot? :)

Re:Digg? Inaccurate? (1)

mathx314 (1365325) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182165)

Digg: It's like Slashdot if concussed monkeys took over.

So it's like Slashdot?

Re:Digg? Inaccurate? (1, Funny)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182327)

I like conversing with non-concussed monkeys, thank you very much.

*flings some poo*

Blurry, no; pixelated hell yes (5, Informative)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181673)

Check out the Naval Observatory [google.com] in Washington, DC. Definitely pixelated -- but the cars just outside the circle are quite visible.

...Not that Mr. Cheney is the secretive sort. Perish the thought!

Re:Blurry, no; pixelated hell yes (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181705)

FWIW the Naval Observatory is blotted out in all satellite photos. It's my understanding that this is a "national security" requirement and (besides it being a no-fly zone) satellite and areal photography are required by federal law to obscure it. Since Google still buys most of these pictures from other people, I wouldn't blame Google for this one, per-say...

Re:Blurry, no; pixelated hell yes (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181753)

Per se [wikipedia.org] .

Ah, böwakawa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181897)

poussé, poussé

Re:Ah, böwakawa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25182045)

It's spelled "pussy".

Re:Blurry, no; pixelated hell yes (1)

joeman3429 (1288786) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181939)

well at least he used it correctly.

Re:Blurry, no; pixelated hell yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181859)

What would be interesting is if any of these sites are driven by and viewable with "google street view"

Re:Blurry, no; pixelated hell yes (2, Insightful)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181891)

FWIW the Naval Observatory is blotted out in all satellite photos. It's my understanding that this is a "national security" requirement and (besides it being a no-fly zone) satellite and areal photography are required by federal law to obscure it.

That's like placing a sign on an aircraft.

"No Hijacking"

Re:Blurry, no; pixelated hell yes (4, Funny)

jamesh (87723) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182097)

That's like placing a sign on an aircraft.

"No Hijacking"

Well... i guarantee that the percentage of aircraft with "No Hijacking" signs on them that don't get highjacked would have a significant number of 9's in it, so it obviously works and works well, provided you measure the outcomes correctly.

Cite a source... (1)

Shandalar (1152907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182207)

You're going to have to cite sources on the 'requirement' and 'federal law' claims. Many companies buy satellite imagery from Russian companies, so what exactly is this law and who is the burden on?

Re:Blurry, no; pixelated hell yes (2, Funny)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181783)

Maybe that is because the USNO contains primary frequency standards, so any attempt to take accurate photographs would result in a violation of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

Re:Blurry, no; pixelated hell yes (2, Interesting)

hyperquantization (804651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181785)

I suspect that most of these had been obscured at some point in the past, such as these natural gas tanks [google.com] in Boston. IIRC, they were quite pixelated a mere 6 months ago, but are no longer due to change in policy or whatnot. I remember noticing just a few of these (around Boston, of course), so I can't speak much against the others. But with that in mind, I think it's pretty unfair to discredit the 'Blurred Out' article; it may be outdated, but it's not necessarily a myth.

Re:Blurry, no; pixelated hell yes (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181985)

An observatory seems a pretty odd place to censor. Why is it a secret? Is it something they're looking at? What are they doing at the Naval Observatory that they don't want us to know about?

Rye Playland (5, Interesting)

lpaul55 (137990) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181689)

Playland, the amusement park in Rye, New York, also shows up as blurred compared to the surrounding suburbs:
http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=52.248722,4.43965&spn=0.3,0.3&t=k&q=52.248722,4.43965 [google.com]

Cannot imagine why!

Re:Rye Playland (1)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181745)

Finally, we know the undisclosed location Cheney is always going to!

Re:Rye Playland (5, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181811)

Finally, we know the undisclosed location Cheney is always going to!

I've always suspected it involved a handbasket.

Re:Rye Playland (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181763)

Abandoned amusement parks are usually prime real estate for evil geniuses, their evil projects, and their hordes of henchmen. It wouldn't surprise me that certain amusement parks are pixelated given the secrecy involved in taking over the planet.

Re:Rye Playland (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181773)

Playland, the amusement park in Rye, New York, also shows up as blurred compared to the surrounding suburbs:
http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=52.248722,4.43965&spn=0.3,0.3&t=k&q=52.248722,4.43965 [google.com]

Cannot imagine why!

It's not blurred out, that's just a super-happy fun time camouflaged geodesic dome [wikipedia.org] !

Re:Rye Playland (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181961)

You have a fairly loose definition of "Rye, New York".

I wonder... (4, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182007)

Has anyone checked to see if all the good pubs are blurry? Maybe with a touch of double-vision and a few pink elephants? Also, if blurry images are proof of national security concerns, the sheep in New Zealand must be Above Top Secret to produce some of the limitations there.

Re:Rye Playland (1)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182015)

I notice there are a couple of round buildings. Maybe the blurring done by New York State is just looking for round buildings and considers them all to be tank farms?

Re:Rye Playland (1)

superandy47 (941362) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182281)

That's not blurred out, that's a Katamari! [wikipedia.org]

Re:Rye Playland (1)

Brewskibrew (945086) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182321)

*pulls mask off the ghost* Everyone shouts: "Vice President Cheney!" And he replies: "And I would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for you meddling kids!"

Re:Rye Playland (1)

lordandrei (821457) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182329)

If you've seen MIB, then you'd realize this is actually an Alien transport depot. This one's above the government. If you zoom in too close there will be a red flash and then your browser will go back to something like LiveJournal.

All wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181709)

Get this off the front page, go to TFA are click the links they are indeed blurred out.

Do we have any filtering process here at all? its not just wrong summary, its completely wrong.

Re:All wrong (1)

IceCreamGuy (904648) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181805)

Do we have any filtering process here at all? its not just wrong summary, its completely wrong.

Maybe you should do some filtering yourself; not all of the items are linked to Google Maps.

This one for Boston is linked to Google, but I can't find a blurry area anywhere near the coordinates, though I'll admit I have no clue wtf a natural gas terminal looks like. FTA:

Liquid Natural Gas Terminal in Chelsea, Mass. and a Large Portion [google.com] of an Industrial Port Area in Boston: Both of these areas are blurry on Google Maps.

Outdated (1)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181731)

The Whitehouses roof used to be blanked out with matte tan. Now it isn't. The pentagon also used to be blanked out. I looked at these locations myself a long time ago. More recently I was surprised to see them unblanked.

Re:Outdated (3, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181761)

Maybe it is still blanked by something more plausible?

Re:Outdated (1)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181787)

Maybe they realized that Washington and the surrounding area contain several tall structures that a potential terrorist could use to take pictures of the roofs of the buildings in questions without having to go through an internet service.

Or if you're the paranoid type, maybe they made them clear again but got Google to report anyone who looks at them, so they can feed that into their data mining programs.

Re:Outdated (1)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181925)

I'm guessing USGOV asked them to sensor all "sensitive areas" 'pending review', and finally decided there was nothing worth blocking.

Well it's not like they probably have much choice (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181749)

I doubt Google censors things unless they have to. While I rather have nothing censored I suspect they're, unfortunately, forced to censor some areas.

Unfortunately people are too thick to realise that terrorists would probably visit the area they want to bomb to scope it out rather than visit google maps.

The Truth of it all is.... (5, Funny)

Neffirithion (950526) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181757)

Post removed for being in violation of Patriot Act

Re:The Truth of it all is.... (2, Funny)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181851)

<Parent removed due to violation of a National Security Letter>

Re:The Truth of it all is.... (1)

gwbennett (988163) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182217)

They took my dad! :'(

hmmm (2, Interesting)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181781)

I find it odd how the Perry nuclear power facility [google.com] in Lake County, Ohio was sensitive enough to be blurred for the longest time but Davis-Besse [google.com] and Fermi [google.com] just up the coast of Lake Erie were not.

Dick Cheny's residence, (1)

ridgecritter (934252) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181789)

the Naval Observatory in Washington, DC, is most def degraded both on Google Maps and Google Earth. Dunno about the others, Dick's house is my test case for these image obscuration issues.

Ramstein airbase is whited out (5, Informative)

ChrisCampbell47 (181542) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181809)

I discovered today that Ramstein airbase in Germany (hugely important to US) is "whited out". At first I just thought it was a really big building, then I thought white concrete surfacing. Finally I realized that it was blacked out, but they tried to make it look like it wasn't. They even threw in a a few fake aircraft and shadows, but didn't quite make it past the uncanny valley. It's just a matter of time until they perfect the fabrication of imagery for those locations.

See for yourself; that ain't real. [google.com]

Re:Ramstein airbase is whited out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181881)

I discovered today that Ramstein airbase in Germany (hugely important to US) is "whited out". At first I just thought it was a really big building, then I thought white concrete surfacing. Finally I realized that it was blacked out, but they tried to make it look like it wasn't. They even threw in a a few fake aircraft and shadows, but didn't quite make it past the uncanny valley. It's just a matter of time until they perfect the fabrication of imagery for those locations.

See for yourself; that ain't real. [google.com]

Not to mention the shadows are different between the planes on the real tarmac (left hand side) and those in the whiteout area (center)

Re:Ramstein airbase is whited out (2, Informative)

NeilTheStupidHead (963719) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181911)

Actually, I think someone just used a magic wand type tool and then maxed out the saturation.

Re:Ramstein airbase is whited out (1)

icejai (214906) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181915)

All the roads surrounding the airport are all messed up as well; almost none of them match up with the pictures. And, they're all labelled "Flugplatz".

Re:Ramstein airbase is whited out (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25182003)

"Flugplatz" is German for "airport" -- those roads are all unnamed roads which are part of the airport. This also explains while some of them don't match up perfectly between the map and the photos. Private roads are rarely mapped perfectly (although really, I think they match up pretty well for the most part).

Re:Ramstein airbase is whited out (1)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181927)

It appears that it is a construction site. Look at this one:

Huntsville Alabama airport runway extension [google.com]

See how the runway ends, goes through a field and then re-appears after the construction? I think the airbase is a victim of stitched together imagery that joins two photos taken at different times.

Re:Ramstein airbase is whited out (1)

jm4 (1137329) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182031)

Perhaps the base is camouflaged? They've been doing that sort of thing for a very long time. I remember seeing some pictures of an old base that was covered to look like a small neighborhood. That makes more sense to me than some Google censorship conspiracy. Besides, censoring Google Maps in this way hardly makes sense since because anyone wanting to see a detailed picture of the base could get it from some other source that could not be persuaded to censor it. It's much safer to disguise the base itself. I imagine there are many satellites controlled by quite a few countries that are capable of taking pictures at least as detailed as this.

Re:Ramstein airbase is whited out (1)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182113)

If you look very close, you can see that it's an image superimposed. Google didn't even try to hide that fact, it's watermarked.

--Toll_Free

Re:Ramstein airbase is whited out (4, Insightful)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182291)

Sorry, but that sounds like conspiracy talk. To me, the white area looks like just a big newly-constructed concrete ramp. I've been seen and been to a lot of airports, so I know what a ramp looks like.

If you look at the top and bottom, you see areas that are still under construction. Some taxiways and even portions of the runway are bright white. What possible reason reason could they have for "whiting out" the runway's threshold and blast pads? The overall white area doesn't look anything like a building and all the actual buildings are arranged around it, just like any other airport. If you scroll around a bit, you'll see other areas that are nearly white but plainly older because they have streaks of gray running through them.

Back in the day, I understand that satellite photos used infrared to generate fairly visually-accurate monochrome images of the ground. On those, thick forests and bodies of water should show up black while roofs and roads would be a lot lighter. I would take a wild guess that the satellites which capture images these days use infrared to enhance the visible light photo and brand-new concrete reflects a whole bunch of the sun's infrared back at the camera. This oversaturates that area on the picture and makes objects on the concrete difficult to see. But that's just a theory. I'd appreciate hearing from someone who knows how it really works.

I think something's wrong with my browser... (3, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181893)

I tried reading the Google cache of your post, but it was blurry.

It's not all nefarious (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181909)

It's not all due to nefarious Google-Corporate-Conspiracy. I know you guys like to think it's all one big giant conspiracy to keep nerds from ruling the Earth, but it's not true. Close up Google views are from airplane photos, not satellite photos. If airplanes can't fly over an area then you don't get good pictures of it. If the airplane photos belong to the government and they don't include them in the database, you don't get good pictures of it. It's as simple as that for most things. If something is deliberately obscured you can tell.

Slashdot-brand blur (1)

spaceyhackerlady (462530) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181929)

I tried a couple toward the bottom of the list. The train station in White Plains, NY is indeed blurred, as is the GE campus in Schenectady.

Some locations in the vicinity of Goonhilly Downs in England used to be blurred, but they aren't any more. You might expect this from countries with different ideas on security and privacy, but places like Buckingham Palace and Vauxhall Cross show up just fine, and you can count how many subs are moored in Polyarnyy.

...laura

Debunking the Debunking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181957)

Sorry O.P., but the myth...isn't. There are indeed places that are modified in Google maps imagery. Rooftops. Fields. Odd places that you wouldn't notice if you didn't know where to look and what's actually there. Great article though...really compelling.

New York State blurs (1)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181975)

New York State blurs tank farms, but you can see the blurring on their imagery, so no, it's not Google.

digg post somthing untrue? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181981)

NEVERZ!

There are sites that are blurred... (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181987)

I work at Eastman Kodak in Rochester, NY. Kodak Park is blurred in Google maps satellite view and I assume in Google Earth. Check out 1999 Lake Avenue Rochester, NY.

Re:There are sites that are blurred... (1)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182127)

Are you on dope?

Comes up nice and clean on Opera lol.

--Toll_Free

Here are some known censorings... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25182027)

From http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/15/business/yourmoney/15techno.html?ex=1124164800&en=cc2fc070fabda25b&ei=5070&oref=login

"NOW, a promised final word about Google's aerial views. Last month, I mentioned that one small part of the American land mass was obscured in an unusual way. It's not the headquarters of the C.I.A., which is there in such detail you that can tell the color of cars in the parking lots. Nor is the mystery zone a dam or a power plant. Some are clearer than others, but the differences result from varying quality of satellite photographs from place to place.

True, the roofs of the White House and two neighboring buildings have been Photoshopped, to conceal whatever protective systems may be up there. And the view of the United States Capitol grounds is blurry, though the contours of the main buildings are distinct. But to see what real camouflage looks like, zoom in on the satellite view of 1 Observatory Circle in Washington. That's where Dick Cheney lives."

Dear Google, Please Obscure My Country's Top Secre (3, Insightful)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182139)

chemical weapons factory. I hope that the hidden area on the map doesn't drawn anyone's attention. And therein lies the problem with obscuring secret locations on maps. The mere act of obscuring it announces it.

Re:Dear Google, Please Obscure My Country's Top Se (1)

ramul (1103299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182305)

Who says they havn't obscured the actual secret locations with a generic terrain type overlay...

Niagara Falls (1)

Inominate (412637) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182171)

The Niagara Falls power station and reservoir DID used to be blurred out. After seeing this article, I checked again and it is clear as day. Some corporate/government drone probably just adjusted the rules of what needs to be censored and what doesn't.

If censorship of google maps images is a myth, then so are evolution, global warming, and the round earth "theory".

Conspiracy indeed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25182173)

Looks like his whole server was disappeared.

There is a Sydney harbor bridge crash in earth (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182181)

There is a Sydney harbor bridge crash in earth just zoom in and try to go up it.

Propaganda piece of an article (4, Informative)

jonfr (888673) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182203)

This article is BS. As anyone how bothers to see there are places on google earth that are blurred or cut out and replaced with green fields.

Here are two examples.

http://maps.google.com/maps?t=k&q=52.109911,4.326597&ie=UTF8&ll=52.109912,4.326596&spn=0.00456,0.009549&z=17&iwloc=addr [google.com]
http://maps.google.com/maps?t=k&q=53.2232,5.754861&ie=UTF8&ll=53.223199,5.754862&spn=0.01778,0.038195&z=15&iwloc=addr [google.com]

Images are sensored (1)

navtal (943711) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182317)

I dont know if it is censored by Google or by those taking the images. But the pictures of Urbana Illinois have never been updated. Do a search see and for yourself. Why? Probably because the University of Illinois has a significant percentage of DARPA research money. Or not. Seriously. Look for yourself. Notice the neighboring town of Champaign does have updated imagery.
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