Daybreak Maps Pictures Archives Green Page Real Estate

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Google - Going Too Far?

I found in the news today that the street view feature of google maps and google earth is now active along the Wasatch Front. This feature shows street level photographs along all of the public roads in our area. You can look at photographs of every house in Daybreak with this feature. I can definitely see this as being a useful resource for those who might live in another state and are thinking of moving to Daybreak. A great way to preview the neighborhood. You can see anything that a person might see during a casual walk down the street. However, I feel this presents some danger. What if someone uses this new tool for purposes that are not benign in nature? Could this tool be used to preview a house before it is burglarized? The answer is that it can be. Just like any other tool we have created, this too can be abused. As for privacy and the law, Google has not broken any laws by integrating these photographs into Google Earth and Google Maps. The law provides that as long as a person is on public property, they can photograph anything within sight. Of course there are some exceptions to the rule, but I could not find any that would apply here.

The pictures were taken by a camera mounted on a Chevrolet Cobalt. Google had hundreds of them deployed to cities across America to accomplish this task. If you pan down in the pictures you will see part of the car. The pictures were taken before Halloween as many of them feature pumpkins and other Halloween decorations. Many of them feature Daybreak residents and kids. However, the pictures are of such a quality that faces, license plates, house numbers, etc. are difficult if not impossible to make out. Part of the picture is obscured by the exhaust of the vehicle as well. I recommend that you go to Google Maps and take a look for yourself. You might be surprised at what you see.

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