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Google Earth is watching

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Thursday August 5, 2010 )

Considering installing a pool or shed without the proper council permits? Be careful, Google Earth is watching.

Google Earth is an incredibly useful and incredibly creepy tool. I’m navigationally challenged when it comes to the suburbs and love how Google Earth makes what used to be white knuckle trips into areas I’m not familiar with not so stressful. I don’t love the fact it also reveals the washing basket left out on the lawn in my back yard. I also imagine its becoming a favorite tool among tech savvy criminals looking to case places.

But it’s not just navigationally challenged or nefarious individuals who use it of course; Google Earth is creeping into all of our lives. For example, your local authorities might be using it to keep an eye on what sort of construction is going on in your area (or your back yard) that might not have their blessing.

According to an article on My Fox New York, Officials in the town of Riverhead on Long Island is using Google Earth to find backyard pools that don’t have the proper permits. So far they’ve made 250 “busts” and raked in $75,000 in outstanding fees.

Many farmers in Australia are also not aware our Government peruses satellite imagery to check for changes in land use. Tools like Google Earth are making it all the more easy for them to do so.

Some companies involved with home renovation related services also use Google Earth to get an image of your property when you submit your address details.

So much potential for good.. and bad.


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