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Google Maps Blurry Street View Available in 20 German Cities
As many regular CN readers know, I am a huge fan of public transit. One of my friends in Germany has been taunting me over the past week that today I would be able to virtually travel on the Schwebebahn in Wuppertal, Germany. I call this transit system the, “upside down subway” because unlike a normal train that travels on tracks below the carriage, the Schwebebahn travels with a track above the train carriage.
I was very excited to check out the first link my friend sent me for the Schwebebahn on Google Street View. So I clicked his link and what did I find — a great photo of the Wuppertal wrapped and then a huge blurry box on the left.
The Street View program began a German roll out earlier this month in Oberstaufen. Apparently Wuppertal is one of 20 cities that are live today on Google Maps Street View. Other cities launching today include Berlin, Munich and Hamburg. Melissa Eddy from the AP notes, “The company said it hired 200 specially trained employees to handle the concerns, going so far as to leave entire blocks of pictures out when it was impossible to determine which house was to be pixelized.”
My favorite blurry image is of the Google Munich office – it’s not blurry because Google wanted it blurry – it’s because another tenant in the building wanted it removed.
Check out the image below of a building in Germany – on the left is the Google Street View image which features the privacy pixelization. On the right is the same image with an overlay of a photo of the same building. The image on the right is from a tourist – if all of the buildings that are removed are available as photos, what good does the blurry removal do?