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 of this.[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. 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 snow making 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
Antarctica Antarctica Several large areas of Antarctica are blurred, including one over 23 km (14 mi) long. Blurring is well past the normal low-resolution for most of the continent.[8] [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
North Korea[9] North Korea Satellite imagery is not censored, but buildings and roads are unlabeled in Google Maps. 39°32′47″N 126°47′16″E / 39.546412°N 126.78772°E / 39.546412; 126.78772 (North Korea)

Europe[edit]

Location Country Details Link and coordinates
Mando de Transmisiones del Ejército "Army Command Signals"[10][11] Spain Censored in Bing Bird's Eye view. [2] 40°24′25″N 3°47′16″W / 40.40706°N 3.78772°W / 40.40706; -3.78772 (Puerta de Hierro)
Base Militar Punta Camorro[12] Spain Blurred on most services, but available via Mapquest 36°00′52″N 5°35′05″W / 36.014444°N 5.584722°W / 36.014444; -5.584722 (Base Militar Punta Camorro)
Zaragoza Air Base Spain Blurred intentionally on Bing Maps.[13] Rendered in lower resolution on Google Maps and Mapquest. [3][4][5] 36°50′20″N 2°28′20″W / 36.838919°N 2.472312°W / 36.838919; -2.472312 (Zaragoza Air Base)
Heliport[14] in El Ejido Spain Square blurred on Google and Bing. Visible e.g. in HERE WeGo and Yandex. 36°44′50″N 2°43′07″W / 36.74732602819289°N 2.71849703957284°W / 36.74732602819289; -2.71849703957284 (Blurred location in El Ejido, Almería)
Huis ten Bosch[9] Netherlands Palace of the Dutch royal family. 52°05′36″N 4°20′39″E / 52.093325°N 4.344181°E / 52.093325; 4.344181 (Huis ten Bosch)
Soestdijk Palace[9] Netherlands Former palace of the Dutch royal family. 52°07′26″N 5°21′30″E / 52.123872°N 5.358367°E / 52.123872; 5.358367 (Soestdijk Palace)
Former NATO ammunition depot near Oeiras, Portugal[9] Portugal 38°33′05″N 9°06′08″W / 38.55139°N 9.10211°W / 38.55139; -9.10211 (Former NATO ammunition depot)
NATO Communications and Information Agency[9] Netherlands 52°06′36″N 4°19′36″E / 52.109911°N 4.326597°E / 52.109911; 4.326597 (NATO C3)
Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO[9] Portugal 38°40′46″N 9°19′19″W / 38.679429°N 9.321814°W / 38.679429; -9.321814 (STRIKFORNATO)
Noordeinde Palace[9] Netherlands Palace of the Dutch royal family. 52°04′51″N 4°18′25″E / 52.080836°N 4.306942°E / 52.080836; 4.306942 (Noordiende)
Élysée Palace[9] France Residence of the President of the French Republic. 48°52′11″N 2°18′59″E / 48.869790°N 2.316428°E / 48.869790; 2.316428

North America[edit]

Location Country Details Link and coordinates
2207 Seymour Avenue America Site of the Ariel Castro kidnappings, demolished. 41°28'21.1"N 81°41'52.8"W

South America[edit]

Location Country Details Link and coordinates

See also[edit]

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.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  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. ^ "The places you can't see on Google Earth". 9news. Retrieved 2021-10-16.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h PC, Paul Escallier-Maximum (13 May 2011). "Access Denied! 18 Places Google Maps Won't Let You See". Gizmodo.
  10. ^ "Edificio invisible en Madrid". Urbanity.es. 5 May 2010. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  11. ^ "Photo of Pozuelo de Alarcón – Antenas del cuartel de transmisiones". Panoramio. 18 February 2007. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  12. ^ "Bloques Tematicos" (PDF).
  13. ^ Rubio, Yaiza; Brezo, Félix (18 June 2013). "The Over-Exposure of Geographic Information About Installations of Interest for Defence in the Network". Journal of the Spanish Institute of Strategic Studies: 24. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  14. ^ "5 lugares en España que están censurados en Google Maps y por qué". Cadena SER (in Spanish). 2016-12-05. Retrieved 2022-10-16.