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Thread: Google Earth

  1. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merry View Post
    Not sure what to think about this.


    Open Books: Street View...

    By J. DAVID GOODMAN

    Say what you will about the privacy concerns raised by Google Street View, it does provide one valuable service besides the ability to virtually visit Johannesburg: catching criminals in the act.

    Following on the theory about stopped watches being right twice a day, the millions of snap shots taken by the service capture all sorts of behavior, good and bad, including drug dealing in Williamsburg.

    On Wednesday, police arrested seven members of an alleged heroin trafficking ring, some of whom can be seen on Street View lolling about the corner of Kingsland Avenue and Jackson Street. As Free Williamsburg notes, these guys were apparently on the corner so frequently as to become part of the scenery. It would have been surprising had they not been spotted by Google’s all-seeing eye.

    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/20...n/#more-242563

    re: "Not sure what to think about this." and "Google’s all-seeing eye".


    A question for our American members: let's say another country (any country, friend or foe) had come up with the idea of photographing homes and buildings... from the street and from above... photos of your home and neighborhood ....and putting it all on the internet for all to access.

    Would you feel comfortable about it?

  2. #47
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    It's kind of creepy, but very cool to be able to see up close and in detail, with a few clicks, my sister's yard 3,000 miles away.

  3. #48
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    The ultimate will be when google integrates a pictometry like service into google earth (oblique arplane views, currently available on bing maps "bird's eye view")

  4. #49

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    At least they blur objects like license plates and faces in street-view.

    Google states they will respond to any request to remove 'objectionable imagery' from a street view.

    LOL

  5. #50
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    Oh! Google Earth is terrific. It's really the best tool for planning travel.

    Ya swoop right in there and find where you'd like to stay; what the neighborhoods are like...the homes and streets... as well as any bad elements

  6. #51

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    Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic have wisely taken a stand:


    German Street View goes live with enhanced privacy


    The first images via Google's Street View service in Germany are live after months of wrangling over privacy. The first town to be mapped on the service is Oberstaufen, in Bavaria. Germany is the first country to have negotiated with Google to allow citizens to opt out before the service goes live. Almost 250,000 Germans have requested that their properties be pixellated in the final imagery.

    But in a recent blog on the German roll-out the search giant warned that it would not be able to respond to all requests immediately. "Given how complex the process is, there will be some houses that people asked us to blur that will be visible when we launch the imagery in a few weeks time. We've worked very hard to keep the numbers as low as possible but int any system like this there will be mistakes," Andreas Turk, product manager for Street View in Germany said in his blog.

    Street View is available in around 20 countries and allows users to walk through town and cities using photos taken by specially-equipped cars.
    But some countries are becoming suspicious of the service, following complaints from citizens that their privacy has been invaded when the images are captured.

    In Germany, the question of whether to allow the service sparked a nationwide debate. During its assessment of the Street View service, the German data protection agency asked Google to audit the information being collected by the cars. It was via this request that Google discovered that its Street View cars were collecting personal data from unsecured wi-fi networks, including whole e-mails, addresses and phone numbers. The discovery, which Google has said was an accident, sparked investigations around the world. Google immediately grounded its Street View cars and alerted data commissioners in countries affected. The German investigation of the circumstances under which Google collected the data is still ongoing.

    While some German citizens do not want to take part in Street View mapping, others have embraced it. Oberstaufen's mayor and tourist board publicly invited Google to put their town on the map and even baked a cake for the occasion. Google plans to launch Street View in 20 German cities in the near future. Alongside the images of the Bavarian town, Google also released a special preview tour of the country, with images of landmarks, including Bayern Munich's football stadium and the office of Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

    Google confirmed that Germany was the first country to allow users to opt out of the service before it was live, saying it was "obeying local privacy laws", adding that it would not become standard practice in other countries. But the change of heart is likely to reignite the debate about Street View and privacy. In the UK, people can request that their properties be removed from Street View - but only after the images have gone live.

    In a parliamentary debate on privacy last week, Conservative MP Mark Lancaster raised the case of a women's refuge in his constituency which had asked to be removed from Street View and received no response. Google said it had not heard the case but that it removed images quickly when asked. The UK's information commissioner ruled out the possibility of allowing people to opt out of the service, saying it was the equivalent of a TV station asking individual permission from every member of the crowd before televising a football match.

    But other countries have taken a tougher line. Italy has asked Google to give citizens notice before starting mapping operations while the Czech Republic has banned Google from any further image capture, saying it invades peoples' privacy.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11673117

    ----

    And this:

    Street View has hit problems in many other places too. In mid-October Canada's privacy commissioner said Google's accidental gathering of personal data while snapping images amounted to a "serious violation" of its privacy laws.

    In September, the Czech government banned Google from taking any new photos for the service.

    In August, authorities in South Korea raided Google's offices prior to the switch-on of a version for the nation.

    Full article:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11595495
    Last edited by Fabrizio; November 12th, 2010 at 05:14 PM.

  7. #52
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio View Post
    Would you feel comfortable about it?
    Google street view has been around for a while and can be very useful in a non-invasive way, especially for architecture lovers like us, but I acknowledge the privacy implications. In this case, though, I was concerned more about its use -and more particularly potential abuse - in "catching criminals in the act". Great in theory, but perhaps not in the hands of some of those who uphold law and order? Innocent acts interpreted otherwise for expediency?

  8. #53
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    If you are doing something where someone in a car can see you driving by, then maybe you should:

    -Buy blinds
    -Clothe your children
    -Fornicate in the BACK room

  9. #54

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    vpike.com is very detailed also, & offers a standing-on-the-street view, as well as moving down any street as if you were walking down it yourself as well as turn corners. It lets you pan up or l/r with their compass. You can use r/l arrow keys also. Very close, as if you're 15-20 feet from the front door. Unless you can see a street #, or you already know it, don't rely 100% on the pop-up address baloon.

  10. #55

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    ...and speaking of privacy, I was "virtual walking" down one street, & zoomed in on a car where a guy was sitting reading a paper. I could almost make out what paper it was. Had red print on top. Another street showed an older gentlemen who appeared to be staring straight at the camera, so I don't know if they take the pics/film from a moving vehicle or what.

  11. #56

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    yes, a moving vehicle



  12. #57

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    The latest generation cameras have gotten very small. One company that supplies cameras for Google is Immersive Media. The camera is called a Dodeca 2360. 11 lenses take simultaneous video in all directions. Software stitches the views together.


  13. #58

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    That is creepy. I could imagine Rod Serling thinking it up.

  14. #59

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    ^ It very well could be an episode.

    ---

    Instead of the "me... me": "it's wonderful for travel"...."I'm into architecture" etc. I think we should stop to also consider the bigger picture and principle.

    I think of that frog in boiling water.

  15. #60
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    Speaking of bad elements.


    Look, some people can go ahead and get all scary with suspicion and disdain at every new thing on the horizon, from Google Earth to multi-story Muslim community centers or Lady GaGa, but technology and information march forward and this surveillance stuff is hardly new anyway. The genie is out of the bottle. Of course we should all be concerned with privacy...I don't relish the fact that cameras cover nearly all of my neighborhood, that I'm being recorded in some way or another at every moment that I'm not in the privacy of my home. They recently put cameras in the hallways of each floor of my building. There had been a burglary. So what are we gonna do? There are trade offs. The Google Earth type of technology brings immense benefits in so many ways. There are people who are on top of the obvious types of privacy invasion that could possibly result, and Google has seemed to be cooperative in respecting concerns when they are raised...so?

    So I can't be out on my street without being sure an Earth cam won't catch me carrying my bagels home? So what. Kvetching and moaning about Google Earth seems silly to me when the information has already been available elsewhere and the imagery they use is up to three years old. In any case, it certainly isn't real time, in the unlikely event somebody wants to stalk me.

    As far as the big picture goes, here it is: the technology will get better and better, to the point where our entire planet will be mapped with 3 dimensional representations. Related multimedia will be at our fingertips for any location, probably even immersive virtual realities that mimic an actual trip to a given location. Areas of national security will likely be blotted out, and pictures of Mrs. Smith sunning her private parts in the back yard will need to be removed of course. Other than that, what's the problem? What principle? Personally I like the following principle: that people, regardless of their financial or physical ability health-wise, can log onto the internet and observe topography, neighborhoods, vegetation, geological information, architecture, and whatever else about our Earth that their curiosity craves.

    I'm sure some people were leery about the wheel too. All that speed could be dangerous in the wrong hands.
    Last edited by MidtownGuy; November 13th, 2010 at 03:08 PM.

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