Thursday, January 17, 2008

Google Maps Draws A Blank On Israel

By Cernig

I got an email from Ken at The Bonehead Compendium today. In the process of reseraching a story he had occasion to look up the location of an Israeli coastal town, and found a weird thing.
Guess what (maybe you already knew this)? Neither towns nor roads nor any other details appear to exist in Israel according to google maps. Even though Tel Aviv is clearly visible in the satellite images, in the pure map Israel appears to have no population centers. Roads and towns in Jordan, Sinai, Lebanon all are indicated but Israel is one big void.

What is that all about? I mean, I can guess. It's probably the same thinking that has Dick Cheney's VP residence blotted out in google maps and earth, like no one will know where Dick is if Number One Observatory Circle is fuzzy in google earth. But how paranoid are these people?
So I checked, and damned if he isn't right.

View Larger Map

Yet a quick search showed no indication that this was ever announced as Google policy or even that many have noticed before now. Back in 2005 Google said it was limiting resolution on satellite pictures of Israel to two meters, but this is very much more than just that kind of obvious military-driven precaution. I'm with Ken, just how paranoid is this?

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