back to article World+dog discovers hi-res aerial maps, thanks to Google and Apple

While I’m happy to join in the general outrage about intrusions on our privacy, the metaphorical 72-point front-page headlines about Google and Apple display a deep ignorance about the existing, common, mundane uses of aerial imaging. When people add the words “military”, “grade”, “spy” and “imaging” into a story also containing …

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Holmes

Well....Privacy?

The game is on, is somebody able to publish the authors address purely on the basis of the photo?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well....Privacy?

If you go purely by the photo you would't know it's the author's. You need more context, but by then you don't need a photo to know the address.

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Black Helicopters

Re: Well....Privacy?

hmmm... it's a holiday home, which looks totally self-sufficient, so no utility bills. The only record is likely to be in the a land registry, and if he's done a strange private deal with the land owner, then it's feasible that there may not even be that paper trail.

It's in the middle of the Southern Tablelands - something tells me it doesn't even HAVE an address beyond "Middle of Nowhere, Southern Tablelands, NSW" - do you think that dirt road has a name?

So say, for example, His Excellency Mr Chirgwin decided to go on a puppy killing massacre, and the police needed to find him. This photo he carelessly published showing off his fancy cottage could be the only link to where he is...

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Holmes

Re: Well....Privacy?

It wasn't that difficult, but I did cheat and use another information source. Do I win a prize?

Not going to publish the address, but I don't think there will be any crazed fans turning up on the doorstep even if someone did :).

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Anonymous Coward

It may be

Sensationalist journalism, but whereas some photographs are official survey pictures they are used for a legitimate purpose.

For Google and Apple the images are for commercial purposes. Therefore if they are for commercial purposes there must be privacy for the individual.

On the last round of google street mapping I had to contact google because not only did it show my house and a pretty good interior shot through my front window, but it also my two children both under the age of six were clearly visible through the window. I only knew this because a neighbour using street map told me!

I have the right to privacy, while I cannot stop official organisations from their duty and commercial organisation should ask permission. If they intend to use this to make money, because lets face it, they would not do it otherwise, I want my cut of the cash. I also demand the right that they ask my permission first.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ...is somebody able to publish the authors address

Yes I am. But I won't.

Respecting privacy, see.

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Holmes

Re: Well....Privacy?

No address - no prize.

Are you Jeremy Hunt?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It may be

" but it also my two children both under the age of six were clearly visible through the window."

Oh my god ... think of the children!!!!!!!1!

So your children were visible, and that means what? Were they naked? Are you a famous celebrity that the pictures of your kids are going to sell for thousands and you would prefer to get a cut?

Do you not want people to know you have children - do you cover them with a veil when you go out?

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Happy

Re: Well....Privacy?

Hm... don't see it on this map, though?

http://bigthink.com/strange-maps/524-here-be-bogans-four-miniatures-of-sydney-stereotypes

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Stop

Re: It may be

Why do you make a distinction between "legitimate" purposes and "commercial" purposes in this case? Whilst Google may gather this data to make money, the end user isn't paying for the service and is most likely using it for their own legitimate purposes. To boil it down; Google isn't selling pictures of your house. They provide a free service which has as many legitimate uses as any official survey pictures; probably more.

As for privacy, I don't understand your argument for a few reasons.

1) You claim that google violated your privacy by getting "a pretty good interior shot through my front window". Since you were the one who opened the curtains, you were apparently happy enough for anyone walking past to see inside your front room. How is that significantly different from someone "virtually" walking past your house using streetview?

2) Your ire is increased because "my two children both under the age of six were clearly visible through the window". Are you in the witness relocation program? Do you make them wear burkas when out in public? Is there some reason why you are offended by people looking at your children? Surely, there are more strangers that would see your children out in public every day than would ever see them on streetview. If you're concerned that it shows where your kids live, you'd find that it's not really hard for someone to discover that without streetview; maybe by walking past when they're playing in the front room with the curtains open. ;)

Also, your contention that you own the copyright to any image of your house and that a commercial entity must ask permission and financially compensate you, is just plain wrong. I can walk up to you in the street and take your picture without your permission and I don't have to pay you anything if I then sell that photo. That's because the copyright is held by the photographer, not the subject of the image. If google blurs or otherwise obscures an image at your request, don't mistake this as a right you're exercising. They do it in good faith, not because they have a legal obligation due to you holding the copyright.

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Terminator

The ignorant are those that bleat the loudest

See title

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12

You appear very loud to me.

See title.

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Gimp

Re: You appear very loud to me.

I'm guilty as charged!

Never under-estimate the usefulness of being ignorant!

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Coat

Four-inch feature??

I've got your four-inch feature right here!

Hang on a minute, that can't be right...

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Silver badge
Coat

Re: Four-inch feature??

Same here, although it seems some people like a 4 inch wide pipe...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Four-inch feature??

I used to have a one hundred and twenty inch "feature", but there was some unpleasantness with the lady next door when she mistook it for a serpent. All that remains is a mere two foot, four inches.

- Billy.

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TRT
Silver badge

Re: Four-inch feature??

Is there anyone with 4 inch diameter nipples? So, what's all this about spying on topless sunbathers then?

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Re: Four-inch feature??

Brilliant...haven't heard that since I was 9 - thank you for the nostalgia fix!

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Re: Four-inch feature??

Or what about 'so that your Big Ben looks like you expect'...

Giggles :-)

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Silver badge

Street vs aerial

The Street view privacy is a greater issue than the aerial photos. The Aerial photos can be an issue depending on quality, public availability and commercial use.

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Ru

Re: Street vs aerial

And more importantlly, when the image was taken.

Street View coverage of my neighbourhood is quite detailed, but all the images are a good 5 years old. They've sent a sinister googletrike around since then to get some updated footage, but 1 year on and it still hasn't been used in the live service.

When they move to a regular capture-and-update cycle, that's when the paranoia should kick up a notch.

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Silver badge

Re: Street vs aerial

aye, we were lucky. When the google car came round all our gas mains were being dug out and our street wasnt accessible so we remain out of streetmaps. Google have yet to come round again. The bing aerial footage is quite detailed though.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Street vs aerial

If you are concerned, do like me: ask Google to not show your house. As a consequence, my house and the two left and two right of it are not visible in StreetView.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Street vs aerial

Why do that when you could snarl in righteous outrage and demand that nobody be able to stroll by your house in blurry 2D five years ago, and instead should be limited to taking a much closer look right now in real time.

If I wanted to case a house in the ass-end of LA, all it would net me is that there's some dude over there somewhere who got rid of a mattress in 2008. Anyone who wants to rob you, murder you, burn your house down, convert you to Jehova's Witnessessdom, or otherwise invade, attack, intrude upon, besmirch, or otherwise molest your privacy, is not going to do so by dragging the google man to a random bit of map and seeing the same damn thing he sees if he drags the google man to any other bit of random map within 20 miles.

Without a priori knowledge, you're no more or less likely to be seen by someone using Google maps - probably less, given that people don't tend to spend hours a day driving around through Google maps, and the ones who do are unlikely to be a threat as they probably never leave their houses - than you are to be seen by someone walking by your crib.

Unless someone already knows about your particular house, they have no reason to ever see it on Google maps, or to distinguish it in any way from any other house around. If they're the type of robber that likes to data mine, they'll be better off looking at demographics for various neighborhoods and checking things out on foot. And if they already know your address and are already interested, the presence or absence of your dwelling on Google maps is not going to be the differentiating factor.

As was pointed out above, if there's live camera view for every house everywhere, -that- gets to be an issue, as it gives people the ability to do something they can't otherwise (if someone is casing your pad in real life, they must suffer the inconvenience of actually being there, and thus being subject to cops, attack dogs, out-of-control neighborhood watch members, etc). But as things stand, Street View adds no danger that didn't already exist.

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WTF?

Daily Mail

Now there's a surprise: the Daily Mail is full of shit. Who'd have guessed.

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Silver badge

Re: Daily Mail

What?

Nooooooooooooo!

Say it isn't so!

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Re: Daily Mail

full of shit............doesn't that normally happen after you've wiped you ass with it?

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WTF?

Re: Daily Mail

My ass? Why would I wipe Eeyore with a newspaper?

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Anonymous Coward

hypocrisy?

I wonder how many people who complain about the invasion of privacy are equally at home using the free services provided by Goolge, Bing etc (other providers are available), to check where that job interview is, where the location of a hotel is, what the garden of the the odd couple at the end of the road looks like? It certainly saves time when screening properties on the old house hunt searches.

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Re: hypocrisy?

Exactly.

Personally, I do not give two hoots if someone can see into my garden if I had one (disclosure, I live in an apartment). I mean what does it really matter that someone can see your kids toys, trampoline, poor attempt at mowing the lawn etc etc?

I love the fact that I can see most places in detail it has been invaluable in finding places. I would love to know what the privacy concerns are?

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Raz

Re: hypocrisy?

There is one thing to use Google or Bing Maps like an old fashioned map, and a completely different one to take pictures of each home or building.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: hypocrisy?

...and it's one thing to use a camera to take pictures of a waterfall, and a completely different one to have a banana for breakfast.

What's your point? You're expecting the reader to articulate your argument for you. How does the mere fact that they're different make the second worse than the first? (Hell, it could be the other way around...)

The big difference between them only underscores an important point: Maps, satellite photos, and street view are all completely different things, not (as seems to be assumed) escalating invasions of privacy.

There are arguments for and against each - and if we're to ignore our own conditioning, against mapping itself - but their dissimilarity is not in itself an argument against them.

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Silver badge

"..your Big Ben looks like you expect."

My Big Ben is bigger than four inches and It's not available on the internet.

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Pint

Re: "..your Big Ben looks like you expect."

«Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.» Mark Twain...

Henri

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FAIL

Daily Mail

A Daily Mail reporter wouldn't know "Military Grade Hardware" if they'd noshed it off at the local dogging spot.

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FAIL

Who is World+Dog? Why is it in your title? Why is there no reference to it in your article?

Take it out.

FAIL.

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Thumb Down

You must be new here.

.jpg

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Big Brother

Nothing new in this, just getting easier for the rest of us.

nearmap.com has been my Google Earth replacement for several years. You can see the shadows of powerlines. And I'm only using the free access level. Wonder how much I could see on the paid for level. What's more there's a timeline.

Heard of someone getting fined by their local council, for too many cars on their property. They wondered who had been spying over their high fences, until they were shown the aerial image. Busted!

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Anonymous Coward

nearmap.com

Just had a look at nearmap.com. It only appears to cover Australia, so unless your interests are sheep-shagging and deserts, look elsewhere.

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Bronze badge
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nearmap

I'm sure it's fine if you live in Oz, but for the rest of the world, including the bits i live in, i think i'll stick with the chocolate factory for now.

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Thumb Up

Re: Nearmap

Nearmap is excellent. I can see progressive images of my new house under construction as they did a new image about every month.

It's great for real estate hunting, but I still use google maps for street view and finding some addresses.

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Anonymous Coward

A New Twist on An Old Schoolboy Joke

I know how to make my willy ten inches long!

...How?

Zoom in on it in Google Earth!

(Just for reference, tie a knot in it was the original answer)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The original answer ...Wrong!

Was Fold it in half

Tying a knot in it must have been something else

<Blush>

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WTF?

"Is it instrusive? Certainly. Is it smart for a serial privacy invader like the Chocolate Factory and a conscienceless monolith like Apple to race each other to find nude sunbathers in their own backyards, all the world over? Certainly not." For crying out loud, grow up!

However there's no chance of you being in the image of your house is there? Because you don't get out enough.

What is it with this hysterical paranoid jumping up and down about Google invading privacy?

What about the very real continual, much more thorough and sinister logging and watching of our lives by governments and their agencies? All unaccountable and acting within the laws they created.

Ah, but they're not the currently fashionable bad guys like Google and Apple are they? A smoke screen to divert the easily lead, who faithfully jump on the bandwagon and blow it all up out of proportion.

Google aren't squeaky clean, but they're a damned sight cleaner than any government/police/security agency.

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Agreed. In most cities, particularly large ones like London etc, members of the public on on CCTV constantly as they move around, not only on streets but in corridors, shops elevators etc ad infinitum. Apart from the occasional bleat from tree-huggers, nary a word is said about it. And this is FAR more insidious and intrusive than you can imagine. Where do you think all those dodgy videos and images come from that appear on teh interwebs?

Exactly as the man says, it's WHO is using the data that's the problem....

Just my 2p's worth....

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Image resolution

Some time ago, Shortly after Google Earth appeared, there were some incredibly detailed aerial pictures on GE.

As everyone did, I went looking at all the places I knew and found some amazing pictures in Holland.

In Den Haag, thre is a model village called Madurodam. The detail on the buildings was quite impressive - better than the current detail on the images of my house. It was only when you realise that the shdows of people are much bigger do you realise that thes buildings are only about a metre wide. Zoom up a little and the image takes on a whole new dimension.

Just to the north of Madurodam on the perimiter road of Den Haag, is the prison where attendees to the International Criminal Court are kept. In the proson is a nice tennis court and a nice excercise yard.

Not there now but at the time, the were some people playing tennis. The resolution was so high that I am sure that the players could have identified themselves by their clothing, The shadow cast by the net was so detailed that the holes were clearly visible. In the exercise yard man was doing press-ups while 3 others looked on.

The pictures have since changed and the tennis court is now in shadow, but in the excercise yard you can still see the cracks between the paving stones.

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Big Brother

Military grade?

What about the <insert spy agency of choice> grade long lenses used by the tabloids' favourite paparazzi?

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Unhappy

Military Grade

I find the expression "Military Grade" upsetting

its never "scientific grade" or "enthusiast grade"

It just confirms that as race all our best efforts go into killing each other.

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