Prime Examples Around the World
Why these blurry Google Earth images all over the world? Many nations have tacit agreements (mostly behind closed doors) to preclude people from using Google Earth to view what they feel to be viable targets for terrorists. Enemies of their states would have a much easier time planning and executing an attack when they can see their target in great detail. Our most pivotal Air Base in Germany, Ramstein, is blurred out as it should be because that is where the majority of our troops fly in and out of when traveling to and from combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. None of the Forward Operating Bases that I was stationed at in Iraq, or any other bases in Iraq that I could see, are blacked out or visibly blurred.
Greenland has military camps that are blurred out. England has its share, and you’ll find other examples throughout Europe, Russia, and China. Interestingly enough, Google doesn’t have a uniform manner of blurring images and you will find discrepancies in the way it’s done, which perhaps is agreed upon in exclusive agreement between Google and each nation.
The Netherlands has a very large number of blurred out terrain which include various military bases, air strips, and government buildings. There is some irony in the Netherlands having so many blurred out patches, considering the region is well known for the legality of drugs, which produce a certain amount of foggy, cloudy images in the brains of humans. Take a look there for the best examples.By the way, if you don’t know how broad-minded and far reaching this website is, read this cool story called Civil Engineering Wonder – Netherlands North Sea Protection Work to get an idea.
Keep in mind that just because an area isn’t blacked out or blurred, doesn’t mean something there can’t still be concealed just like someone might doctor a photograph with Photoshop. Superimposed images are sometimes placed over what is really on the ground. That is what was done for the White House and the Capitol. Older images are what you see on Google Earth to conceal the updated defensive weaponry that is in place since 9/11.
There you have it. Most likely, any blurring you see is due to security reasons, although in a few isolated instances, Google blurred properties when requested for right-to-privacy reasons (or they were sued). And now with Google Street View, there are many more cases around the world where people object to this Big Brother-like presence. Perhaps we shall cover that in a future article.