Some locations on free, publicly viewable satellite map services have missing, incomplete, or unclear map data. In some cases, these regions have been intentionally digitally obscured or blurred.Westchester County, New York, for example, has asked Google to blur potential terror targets (such as an amusement park, a beach, and parking lots) from its satellite imagery.
Countries in official contact with Google Maps
During talks with the Indian government, Google issued a statement saying "Google has been talking and will continue to talk to the Indian government about any security concerns it may have regarding Google Earth." Google agreed to blur images on request of the Indian government.
The Australian government has decided that images of sensitive areas are not a risk, due to poor level of detail. It was reported that in the lead-up to the APEC forum in Sydney held in September 2007 certain key locations in images of the city's central business district, where APEC leaders were meeting, might have been intentionally reduced in resolution; however, Google has indicated that the change was unrelated to APEC, while the NSW police said that they knew nothing about the change in Google's images. It is known that images of Her Majesty's Australian Prisons are intentionally blurred out. Images of the PM's official residence, The Lodge have not been blurred. However images of its roof have been and the entrance to The Lodge is blurred in Google's Street View.
The government of Malaysia has stated that it will not ask Google to censor sensitive areas because that would identify the locations it deemed to be sensitive.
List of map locations with missing or unclear data
As of February 2013 North Korea is fully covered in Google Maps including Satellite view. Certain cities have a higher level of detail than others. Previously, Google Maps blurred North Korea. There was a single marker for Pyongyang; other towns and locations were identified only when using the search box.
South Korean online map services Daum Maps and Naver Maps, as well as Bing maps, censor a substantial part of their satellite/aerial imagery. Every military used land (US and ROK) is altered to show woodland or mountains. Also the nuclear reactor sites and many airports and possibly other civilian infrastructure. The national mint is pixellated. Google Maps does not have these omissions for South Korea.
An old satellite image from 2005 is superimposed over newer images for the entire area of the prison. The prison houses convicted members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) and other illegal paramilitary organisations. The security features include an army detachment of the Irish Defence Forces armed with assault rifles and anti-aircraft machine guns. An air exclusion zone operates over the entire complex.
Chekhov (Russian: Че́хов) is a town and the administrative center of Chekhovsky District of Moscow Oblast. The reason for this area being blurred is unknown.The area can be visited on Google street view.
Power station switchyard obscured by an image of a grass field, as evidenced by power lines running to and from the area and a service road abruptly ending at its edge. Repetitive patterns can also be seen on the grass.