List of satellite map images with missing or unclear data

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This is a list of satellite map images with missing or unclear data. Some locations on free, publicly viewable satellite map services have such issues due to having been intentionally digitally obscured or blurred for various reasons.[1] For example, Westchester County, New York asked Google to blur potential terrorism targets (such as an amusement park, a beach, and parking lots) from its satellite imagery.[2] There are cases where the censorship of certain sites was subsequently removed. For example, when Google Maps and Google Earth were launched, images of the White House and United States Capitol were blurred out; however, these sites are now uncensored.[3]

Countries engaged with Google Maps[edit]

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."[4] Google agreed to blur images on request of the Indian government.[1]

The Australian government has decided that images of sensitive areas are not a risk, due to poor level of detail.[5] 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 prime minister'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 Street View.[6]

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.[7]

List[edit]

Most military and defense facilities, along with many private homes, appear blurred in mapping services. The vast majority of Antarctica is also in low resolution due to the bright, often featureless, ice and snowmaking high-resolution imaging both difficult and largely unnecessary. The following is a partial list of notable known map sections that have been blurred or blanked.

Antarctica[edit]

Location Country Details Link and coordinates
14-Mile Blur Antarctica Several large areas of Antarctica are blurred, including one over 14 miles long. Blurring is well past the normal low-resolution for most of the continent. [1] 70°10′40″S 87°49′29″E / 70.177653°S 87.824707°E / -70.177653; 87.824707 (14-Mile Blur)

Asia[edit]

Location Country Details Link and coordinates
2 unknown areas in the Bara Hoti section India There are 2 large gray squares that are found in the Bara Hoti section, one of the many disputed areas found in the borders of India and China. It is found east of Nanda Devi National Park. [2] 30°45′3″N 80°6′1.1″E / 30.75083°N 80.100306°E / 30.75083; 80.100306 (Gray Square 1) 30°42′8″N 80°7′25.8″E / 30.70222°N 80.123833°E / 30.70222; 80.123833 (Gray Square 1)
Shamsi Airfield[8] Pakistan Unmanned Predators. Images from 2006 were removed. Images from 2007 have runway markings removed. [3] 27°51′0″N 65°10′0″E / 27.85000°N 65.16667°E / 27.85000; 65.16667 (Predator Air Base)
Garabogazköl Turkmenistan The Garabogazköl Basin is shown pixelated in Fourmilab. In all other mapping services, it appears as a normal lagoon. [4] 41°10′22.57″N 53°42′15.47″E / 41.1729361°N 53.7042972°E / 41.1729361; 53.7042972 (Garabogazköl Basin)
Large area north of Mapam Yumco, Tibet, China China Unknown. [9] 30°51'20"N 81°39'48"E

Europe[edit]

Location Country Details Link and coordinates
Fort Eben-Emael – near Eben-Emael Belgium Blurred in Google Maps [5] 50°47′51″N 5°40′44″E / 50.79755°N 5.67899°E / 50.79755; 5.67899 (Fort Eben-Emael)
Office of Atomic Energy (Cadarache Center) France Large obscuring pixelation of the whole site. [6] 43°41′23″N 5°45′38″E / 43.689722°N 5.760555°E / 43.689722; 5.760555 (CEA Cadarache)
HWU transmitter France Reduced resolution on most of the image. [7] 46°42′47″N 1°14′39″E / 46.713056°N 1.244167°E / 46.713056; 1.244167 (HWU transmitter)
AREVA La Hague nuclear fuel reprocessing facility France The AREVA La Hague nuclear fuel reprocessing facility is shown in reduced resolution. [8] 49°40′49″N 1°52′48″W / 49.68028°N 1.88000°W / 49.68028; -1.88000 (AREVA La Hague nuclear fuel reprocessing facility)
Orange-Caritat Air Base France The Orange-Caritat Air Base is shown in reduced resolution. [9] 44°08′21″N 4°51′44″E / 44.13917°N 4.86222°E / 44.13917; 4.86222 (Orange)
Vélizy – Villacoublay Air Base France The Vélizy – Villacoublay Air Base is shown in reduced resolution. [10] 48°46′21″N 2°12′58″E / 48.77250°N 2.21611°E / 48.77250; 2.21611 (Vélizy – Villacoublay Air Base)
Toulon arsenal France The Toulon arsenal is shown in reduced resolution. [11] 43°7′1″N 5°54′7″E / 43.11694°N 5.90194°E / 43.11694; 5.90194 (Toulon – Toulon arsenal)
Moronvilliers France The ruins of a French village known as Moronvilliers, which was destroyed by German Soldiers during World War 1, are blurred on Google Maps. There is Google Street View imagery running right though the censored area. [12] 49°14′28″N 4°19′27″E / 49.24111°N 4.32417°E / 49.24111; 4.32417 (Moronvilliers ruins)
Prison of Riom France A prison at Riom is covered by farmland and only a portion of the prison is visible. Visible on Google Maps [13] 45°53′25.4″N 3°09′01.1″E / 45.890389°N 3.150306°E / 45.890389; 3.150306 (Prison of Riom)
Baumettes Prison France A prison in the city of Marseille is pixelated on satellite imagery. Surrounding Google Street View imagery has partially blurred images of the prison walls. [14] 43°13′59.5″N 5°24′52.5″E / 43.233194°N 5.414583°E / 43.233194; 5.414583 (Baumettes Prison)
Ingolstadt Manching Airport Germany No longer blurred on Google Maps. Entire airport blurred out on Bing Maps aerial view. [15] 48°42′56″N 11°32′02″E / 48.71556°N 11.53389°E / 48.71556; 11.53389 (Ingolstadt Manching Airport)
Andravida Air Base Greece The base's area appears in low resolution on Google Maps. [16]
Ayioi Anargyroi Military Base Athens Greece The base appears pixelated on Google Maps. [17] 38°01′31″N 23°42′57″E / 38.02528°N 23.71583°E / 38.02528; 23.71583 (Unknown Military Base)
Unknown area near Emporio, Santorini. Greece An area north east of the Emporio village in Santorini is pixelated on and only on Google Maps. Google street view runs through the pixelation and multiple photo spheres exist for the area as well. [18] 36°22′07.2″N 25°27′08.8″E / 36.368667°N 25.452444°E / 36.368667; 25.452444 (An area near Emporio, Santorini, Greece)
Kephalonia International Airport Greece Completely pixelated on Google Maps, but the perimeter road is accessible on Street View. [19] 38°07′10.0″N 20°30′03.3″E / 38.119444°N 20.500917°E / 38.119444; 20.500917 (Kefalonia Airport, Kefalonia, Greece)
Moria Camp Greece The migrant camp appears pixelated on Google Maps, but Google Street View images from the road and more recent photo spheres images from within the camp exist. [20] 39°08′4″N 26°30′13″E / 39.13444°N 26.50361°E / 39.13444; 26.50361 (Moria Camp)
Portlaoise Prison Ireland 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 and terrorist organisations. The security features include an Irish Army detachment of the Defence Forces armed with assault rifles and anti-aircraft machine guns. An air exclusion zone operates over the entire complex. [21] 53°02′16.69″N 7°17′10.72″W / 53.0379694°N 7.2863111°W / 53.0379694; -7.2863111 (Portlaoise Prison)
Former House of Mandemakers Netherlands, The The former house of businessman Mandemakers in Kaatsheuvel. [https://www.google.com/maps/@51.6636553,5.0117864,127a,35y,208.67h,45t/data=!3m1!1e3}}
Polish Military Hydrometeorological Command Centre (Szefostwo Służby Hydrometeorologicznej SZ RP) Poland The weather station appears in low resolution on Google Maps, but a high resolution image is available on Bing Maps Aerial view. [22] 52°04′26″N 21°01′14″E / 52.0739°N 21.0205°E / 52.0739; 21.0205 (Mysiadło)
Dowództwo Wojsk Specjalnych Poland The Polish Special Forces Command in Krakow, Poland is completely blurred on Google Maps and Wikimapia, but not other mapping websites Bing Maps and Yahoo Maps. [23] 50°02′13″N 19°54′14″E / 50.0370°N 19.9038°E / 50.0370; 19.9038 (Dowództwo Wojsk Specjalnych)
Ministério da Defesa Portugal Defense Ministry Offices Lisbon. Blurry image shown, but data layers are integrated when looking at previous dates. [24] 38°42′15″N 9°12′24″W / 38.7042°N 9.20677°W / 38.7042; -9.20677 (Ministério da Defesa)
Jeannette Island Russia In Google Maps, the island has been entirely blacked out. [25] 76°47′24″N 157°58′00″E / 76.79000°N 157.96667°E / 76.79000; 157.96667
Severnaya Zemlya, a large archipelago off the north coast of Russia. Russia All of the major islands have been blurred. [26] 79°19′22.8″N 95°19′42.13″E / 79.323000°N 95.3283694°E / 79.323000; 95.3283694
Regimiento Estratégico de Transmisiones número 22 (RETES22) "Strategic Signals Regiment number 22" [10][11] Spain Image not consistent with surroundings. Completely blurred in Bing. [27] 40°27′55″N 3°44′00″W / 40.465201°N 3.733313°W / 40.465201; -3.733313 (Puerta de Hierro)
Mando de Transmisiones del Ejército "Army Command Signals"[11][12] Spain Censored in Bing Bird's Eye view. [28] 40°24′25″N 3°47′16″W / 40.40706°N 3.78772°W / 40.40706; -3.78772 (Puerta de Hierro)
"Patio de los Naranjos" (lit. Orange Tree Yard) Spain Blurred on Google Maps. [29] 36°50′20″N 2°28′20″W / 36.838919°N 2.472312°W / 36.838919; -2.472312 (Patio de los Naranjos)
Försvarets Radioanstalt – West of Stockholm near Drottningholm Sweden Facility surrounded partially by woods which is blurred in Bing and Yahoo Maps. Replaced with badly edited overlay of woods in Eniro.se and Hitta.se. Clear in Google Maps. [30] 59°19′55″N 17°51′20″E / 59.332046°N 17.855496°E / 59.332046; 17.855496 (Försvarets Radioanstalt - Swedish National Defence Radio Establishment)

North America[edit]

Location Country Details Link and coordinates
Western Campeche Bank. Mexico The Triangulos Chain and Obispo Chain of islands are blacked out in Google Maps. No detailed view in Bing Maps [31] 20°42′41.73″N 92°13′23.64″W / 20.7115917°N 92.2232333°W / 20.7115917; -92.2232333 (Island Chains in Gulf of Mexico)
Number One Observatory Circle, official residence of the Vice President of the United States United States Buildings blurred for various dates in Google Earth. Other years the area lacks any obfuscation. [32] 38°55′16.64″N 77°04′01″W / 38.9212889°N 77.06694°W / 38.9212889; -77.06694 (Naval Observatory/Residence of the Vice President of the United States)
Auburn Correctional Facility (maximum security prison), Auburn, New York United States Shown as censored, however not in all years. [33] 42°56′4.92″N 76°34′27.64″W / 42.9347000°N 76.5743444°W / 42.9347000; -76.5743444 (Auburn Correctional Facility)
Cornell University Combined Heat and Power Plant in Ithaca, New York United States Facility blurred in Google in May 2007, but not on Bing Maps. Uncensored in Google October 2008 onwards. [34] 42°26′32.69″N 76°28′26.04″W / 42.4424139°N 76.4739000°W / 42.4424139; -76.4739000 (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY)

South America[edit]

Location Country Details Link and coordinates
South Sandwich islands United Kingdom In Google Maps, the satellite images of the islands are badly misaligned with their actual locations, by more than a mile in some places. [35] 58°00′S 26°30′W / 58.000°S 26.500°W / -58.000; -26.500 (South Sandwich Islands)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Deshpande, Rajeev (4 February 2007). "Google Earth agrees to blur pix of key Indian sites". The Times of India.
  2. ^ "Westchester 'Blurs' Out Terror Targets On Google". WCBS-TV. 8 May 2008. Archived from the original on 10 May 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  3. ^ Johnson, Jenna (22 July 2007). "Google's View of D.C. Melds New and Sharp, Old and Fuzzy". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  4. ^ "Google Earth prompts Indian fears". BBC News. 5 February 2007. Archived from the original on 8 March 2008.
  5. ^ Skatssoon, Judy (8 August 2005). "Lucas Heights image stays on Google". 34.0516520;150.9804300: ABC. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  6. ^ Moses, Asher (13 August 2007). "Google's photos of Sydney go all fuzzy". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 August 2007.
  7. ^ Parliament In Brief: ‘No need to blur images’ Archived May 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Shachtman, Noah (19 February 2009). "Google Earth Shows U.S. Drones at Pakistani Base?". Wired.
  9. ^ "Google Earth". earth.google.com. Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  10. ^ "Sitios Censurados De Espa/Ñ/A En Google Earth -Foro España" (in Spanish). Google-Earth.es. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Edificio invisible en Madrid". Urbanity.es. 5 May 2010. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  12. ^ "Photo of Pozuelo de Alarcón – Antenas del cuartel de transmisiones". Panoramio. 18 February 2007. Retrieved 3 July 2013.

External links[edit]