Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Google satellite photos on Maps

I was recently sent an email with a link to an address in South Co. Dublin and I noted that the clarity of the photos used had much improved on previous versions. Google have obviously recently updated the photos - so I decided to look at my own house:

My house is the one in the middle with the conservatory at the back. In the back garden you can see a dinghy that we kept there for the winter - it belongs to my brother-in-law and is now thankfully gone since June. Out front you can just about see Roma's Honda CRV in the driveway, Claire's silver Citroen C3 is clearly visible in front of Jack's house next door, while my (and Kate's!) red VW Golf is also visible parked outside the house.

I don't have any privacy hang-ups about putting a picture of my house on the web . My address is easy to find in the Dublin telephone book and in the on-line version. I'd guess that anyone with even basic IT skills could find it in minutes - so what's the point in trying to hide it, or deny that it exists? This photo was taken probably during April/May this year - so would be burglers are already too late.

This type of content publication on-line is not for everybody - lot's of people have legitimate privacy concerns. Even if a burgler cannot use it for a real-time "casing" of a house, he can check things like walls, fences, getaway paths, and so on. They can probably even use Google Maps to tag maps to tick off houses that they have already "done", and create a list for an accomplice for what's left.

Google is getting more fascinating for me almost every day. Earlier today I added a graphic of my Harley-Davidson as a background to my Google Calendar, from my free Google Sites Page. Long live innovation at Google!

From a learning point of view, Google Maps must be ideal for students of geography - especially Ordinance Survey. Even when you want to find your way around, Google Maps (which I also have on my iPhone) is just as good as GPS. Expect a lot more location-based services like advertising and marketing to happen in the next year or so.

There is no hiding place any more!


  1. I found this on the web, and was amazed with the zoom. It's a group of people at a well in Chad with their camels

    I notice that most of the people are looking up to the sky, which to me would suggest that a UAV or a some kind of aircraft rather that a satalite was used.

    I also found this, and it takes Google maps to a whole new level, Enjoy.;title

  2. Hey Eugene I was wondering if people are able to zoom in and see your house number or license plate numbers on the cars you mentioned? wow that's pretty freaky I suppose if they can!

  3. Why not try for yourself? Google maps is free for all to use.

    Anyone walking or driving past my house, and there are probably several hundred per day, can read my number plate and my house number. Sometimes I even drive my car around the city and country with my number plate in full view! I wonder what use anyone would make of this information?

    "pretty freaky"? - not at all.