List of satellite map images with missing or unclear data

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This is a list of satellite map images with missing or unclear data. Some locations on free, publicly viewable satellite map services have such issues due to having been intentionally digitally obscured or blurred for various reasons of this.[1] For example, Westchester County, New York asked Google to blur potential terrorism targets (such as an amusement park, a beach, and parking lots) from its satellite imagery.[2] There are cases where the censorship of certain sites was subsequently removed. For example, when Google Maps and Google Earth were launched, images of the White House and United States Capitol were blurred out; however, these sites are now uncensored.[3]

Countries engaged with Google Maps[edit]

During talks with the Indian government, Google issued a statement saying "Google has been talking and will continue to talk to the Indian government about any security concerns it may have regarding Google Earth."[4] Google agreed to blur images on request of the Indian government.[1]

The Australian government has decided that images of sensitive areas are not a risk, due to poor level of detail.[5] It was reported that in the lead-up to the APEC forum in Sydney held in September 2007 certain key locations in images of the city's central business district, where APEC leaders were meeting, might have been intentionally reduced in resolution; however, Google has indicated that the change was unrelated to APEC, while the NSW police said that they knew nothing about the change in Google's images. It is known that images of Her Majesty's Australian Prisons are intentionally blurred out. Images of the prime minister's official residence, The Lodge have not been blurred. However, images of its roof have been and the entrance to The Lodge is blurred in Google Street View.[6]

The government of Malaysia has stated that it will not ask Google to censor sensitive areas because that would identify the locations it deemed to be sensitive.[7]

List[edit]

Most military and defense facilities, along with many private homes, appear blurred in mapping services. The vast majority of Antarctica is also in low resolution due to the bright, often featureless, ice and snow making high-resolution imaging both difficult and largely unnecessary. The following is a partial list of notable known map sections that have been blurred or blanked.

Antarctica[edit]

Location Country Details Link and coordinates
Antarctica Several large areas of Antarctica are blurred, including one over 14 miles long.[dubious ] Blurring is well past the normal low-resolution for most of the continent.[original research?] [1] 70°10′40″S 87°49′29″E / 70.177653°S 87.824707°E / -70.177653; 87.824707 (14-Mile Blur)

Asia[edit]

Location Country Details Link and coordinates
The entirety of Israel, Palestine, and Israeli-occupied Golan Heights Israel The entire country of Israel is shown in low resolution in all U.S.-based mapping services, including Mapquest, Bing, etc. This is a result of the Kyl–Bingaman Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 1997. The amendment is titled "Prohibition on collection and release of detailed satellite imagery relating to Israel" and requires NOAA's Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs agency to regulate the distribution of zoomed images of Israel. [2] 31°N 35°E / 31°N 35°E / 31; 35 (Garabogazköl Basin)
Shamsi Airfield[8] Pakistan Unmanned Predators. Images from 2006 were removed. Images from 2007 have runway markings removed. [3] 27°51′0″N 65°10′0″E / 27.85000°N 65.16667°E / 27.85000; 65.16667 (Predator Air Base)
Garabogazköl Turkmenistan The Garabogazköl Basin is shown pixelated in Fourmilab. In all other mapping services, it appears as a normal lagoon. [4] 41°10′22.57″N 53°42′15.47″E / 41.1729361°N 53.7042972°E / 41.1729361; 53.7042972 (Garabogazköl Basin)
Large area north of Mapam Yumco, Tibet, China China Unknown. [9] 30°51'20"N 81°39'48"E
Area northwest of Mount Kailash China Location is to the northwest of Mount Kailash, one of the holiest Hindu places. 31.219183, 81.223361

Europe[edit]

Location Country Details Link and coordinates
Fort Eben-Emael – near Eben-Emael Belgium Blurred in Google Maps [5] 50°47′51″N 5°40′44″E / 50.79755°N 5.67899°E / 50.79755; 5.67899 (Fort Eben-Emael)
West Flanders Office – in Bruges Belgium Blurred in Google Maps [6] 51°12′37″N 3°13′24″E / 51.21022°N 3.22321°E / 51.21022; 3.22321 (West Flanders Office)
Belgian Pipeline Organisation – in Leuven Belgium Blurred in Google Maps - no longer blurred [7] 50°52′24″N 4°42′04″E / 50.873299°N 4.701081°E / 50.873299; 4.701081 (Belgian Pipeline Organisation)
Erguemin, Belgium-Netherlands Naval Mine Warfare School – in Ostend Belgium Blurred in Google Maps [8] 51°13′28″N 2°55′19″E / 51.22453°N 2.92182°E / 51.22453; 2.92182 (Erguemin, Belgium-Netherlands Naval Mine Warfare School)
NATO Headquarters – in Brussels Belgium Blurred in Google Maps - no longer blurred [9] 50°52′49″N 4°25′35″E / 50.88013889°N 4.42638889°E / 50.88013889; 4.42638889 (NATO Headquarters)
French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA, Grenoble center) France Large obscuring pixelation of a 195 ha site near central Grenoble, including the co-located ESRF facility. [10] 45°12′03″N 5°42′19″E / 45.200949°N 5.7054144°E / 45.200949; 5.7054144 (CEA Grenoble)
Office of Atomic Energy (Cadarache Center) France Large obscuring pixelation of the whole site.(including the neighboring ITER project) [11] 43°41′23″N 5°45′38″E / 43.689722°N 5.760555°E / 43.689722; 5.760555 (CEA Cadarache)
HWU transmitter France Reduced resolution on most of the image. [12] 46°42′47″N 1°14′39″E / 46.713056°N 1.244167°E / 46.713056; 1.244167 (HWU transmitter)
AREVA La Hague nuclear fuel reprocessing facility France The AREVA La Hague nuclear fuel reprocessing facility is shown in reduced resolution. [13] 49°40′49″N 1°52′48″W / 49.68028°N 1.88000°W / 49.68028; -1.88000 (AREVA La Hague nuclear fuel reprocessing facility)
Orange-Caritat Air Base France The Orange-Caritat Air Base is shown in reduced resolution. [14] 44°08′21″N 4°51′44″E / 44.13917°N 4.86222°E / 44.13917; 4.86222 (Orange)
Cherbourg Naval Base France The Cherbourg Naval Base is shown in reduced resolution. [15]
Vauban Fortifications of Saint-Martin-de-Ré France The main fortress is shown in reduced resolution. [16]
Vélizy – Villacoublay Air Base France The Vélizy – Villacoublay Air Base is shown in reduced resolution. [17] 48°46′21″N 2°12′58″E / 48.77250°N 2.21611°E / 48.77250; 2.21611 (Vélizy – Villacoublay Air Base)
Toulon arsenal France The Toulon arsenal is shown in reduced resolution. [18] 43°7′1″N 5°54′7″E / 43.11694°N 5.90194°E / 43.11694; 5.90194 (Toulon – Toulon arsenal)
Istres-Le Tubé Air Base France The Air Base is shown in reduced resolution. [19] 43°31′28″N 4°56′30″E / 43.52444°N 4.94167°E / 43.52444; 4.94167 (Istres-Le Tubé Air Base)
Moronvilliers France The ruins of a French village known as Moronvilliers, which was destroyed by German Soldiers during World War I, are blurred on Google Maps. There is Google Street View imagery running right though the censored area. [20] 49°14′28″N 4°19′27″E / 49.24111°N 4.32417°E / 49.24111; 4.32417 (Moronvilliers ruins)
Prison of Riom France A prison at Riom is covered by farmland and only a portion of the prison is visible. Visible on Google Maps [21] 45°53′25.4″N 3°09′01.1″E / 45.890389°N 3.150306°E / 45.890389; 3.150306 (Prison of Riom)
Centre pénitentiaire de Saint-Quentin-Fallavier France Blurred in Google Maps [45]°39'32.6"N 5°07'36.0"E
Baumettes Prison France A prison in the city of Marseille is pixelated on satellite imagery. Surrounding Google Street View imagery has partially blurred images of the prison walls. [22] 43°13′59.5″N 5°24′52.5″E / 43.233194°N 5.414583°E / 43.233194; 5.414583 (Baumettes Prison)
Frenchelon France A DGSE signal intelligence system in Domme, France that is completely pixelated on satellite imagery. [23] 44°47′11″N 1°14′17″E / 44.78639°N 1.23806°E / 44.78639; 1.23806 (Frenchelon)
Détachement du 8e régiment de transmissions - Vernon France Blurred in Google Maps [24] 49°05'40.4"N 1°30'27.7"E
Cattenom Nuclear Power Plant France Blurred in Google Maps and Bing Maps. Clear in Yandex Maps. 49°24′57″N 6°13′5″E / 49.41583°N 6.21806°E / 49.41583; 6.21806
Ingolstadt Manching Airport Germany No longer blurred on Google Maps. Entire airport blurred out on Bing Maps aerial view. [25] 48°42′56″N 11°32′02″E / 48.71556°N 11.53389°E / 48.71556; 11.53389 (Ingolstadt Manching Airport)
Andravida Air Base Greece The base's area appears in low resolution on Google Maps. [26]
Ayioi Anargyroi Military Base Athens Greece The base appears pixelated on Google Maps. [27] 38°01′31″N 23°42′57″E / 38.02528°N 23.71583°E / 38.02528; 23.71583 (Unknown Military Base)
Kos International Airport Greece Airport is completely pixelated on Google Maps. [28] 36°48'02.4"N 27°05'19.7"E
Unknown area near Emporio, Santorini. Greece An area north east of the Emporio village in Santorini is pixelated on and only on Google Maps. Google street view runs through the pixelation and multiple photo spheres exist for the area as well. [29] 36°22′07.2″N 25°27′08.8″E / 36.368667°N 25.452444°E / 36.368667; 25.452444 (An area near Emporio, Santorini, Greece)
Unknown area near Faliraki, Rhodos. Greece An area on a hilltop south of Kathara Bay is pixelated on and only on Google Maps, hiding two monasteries. Multiple photo spheres exist for the area. [30] 36°19′29.9″N 28°12′26.0″E / 36.324972°N 28.207222°E / 36.324972; 28.207222 (An area near Faliraki, Rhodos, Greece)
Kalymnos Island National Airport Greece Airport is completely pixelated on Google Maps. [31] 36°57'51.0"N 26°56'29.7"E
Kephalonia International Airport Greece Completely pixelated on Google Maps, but the perimeter road is accessible on Street View. [32] 38°07′10.0″N 20°30′03.3″E / 38.119444°N 20.500917°E / 38.119444; 20.500917 (Kefalonia Airport, Kefalonia, Greece)
Leros Greece Pixelated area on a hilltop in Leros. [33] 37°08'58.8"N 26°51'05.9"E
Lipsi Greece Pixelated area south of bay in Lipsi (Leipsoi). [34] 37°17'20.6"N 26°45'53.5"E
Port of Mandraki Greece The Port of Mandraki on Nisyros is completely pixelated on Google Maps. [35] 36°36′47.6388″N 27°8′11.9142″E / 36.613233000°N 27.136642833°E / 36.613233000; 27.136642833 (Port of Mandraki)
Moria Camp Greece The migrant camp appears pixelated on Google Maps, but Google Street View images from the road and more recent photo spheres images from within the camp exist. [36] 39°08′4″N 26°30′13″E / 39.13444°N 26.50361°E / 39.13444; 26.50361 (Moria Camp)
Thessaloniki Airport Makedonia Greece The civilian airport and the military hangars adjacent to it are blurred. Additionally, the terrain is glitched on Google Earth. [37] 40°31′14″N 22°58′28″E / 40.52056°N 22.97444°E / 40.52056; 22.97444 (Thessaloniki Airport)
Former House of Mandemakers The Netherlands The former house of businessman Mandemakers in Kaatsheuvel. [38] 51°39′42.294″N 5°00′40.677″E / 51.66174833°N 5.01129917°E / 51.66174833; 5.01129917 (Mandemakers Kaatsheuvel, hét huis van keukens)
Polish Military Hydrometeorological Command Centre (Szefostwo Służby Hydrometeorologicznej SZ RP) Poland The weather station appears in low resolution on Google Maps, but a high resolution image is available on Bing Maps Aerial view. [39] 52°04′26″N 21°01′14″E / 52.0739°N 21.0205°E / 52.0739; 21.0205 (Mysiadło)
Dowództwo Wojsk Specjalnych Poland The Polish Special Forces Command in Krakow, Poland is completely blurred on Google Maps and Wikimapia, but not other mapping websites Bing Maps and Yahoo Maps. [40] 50°02′13″N 19°54′14″E / 50.0370°N 19.9038°E / 50.0370; 19.9038 (Dowództwo Wojsk Specjalnych)
Ministério da Defesa Portugal Defense Ministry Offices Lisbon. Blurry image shown, but data layers are integrated when looking at previous dates. [41] 38°42′15″N 9°12′24″W / 38.7042°N 9.20677°W / 38.7042; -9.20677 (Ministério da Defesa)
Butyn, Russia Russia Several buildings in the village Butyn under Moscow are painted with the perfect white color (#FFFFFF). [42] 55°35′51″N 36°56′30″E / 55.5974722°N 36.9417002°E / 55.5974722; 36.9417002 (Village Butyn Moscow Oblast, Russia)
Escuadrón de Vigilancia Aérea nº2 (EVA 2) Spain Blurred on all online map services. [43] 39°53′15″N 3°18′12″W / 39.88749°N 3.30324°W / 39.88749; -3.30324 (EVA 2)
Getafe Air Base Spain Large parts of runway and taxiways blurred on Google Maps. Completely blurred in Bing. [44] 40°17′45″N 3°43′30″W / 40.295833°N 3.725°W / 40.295833; -3.725
Regimiento Estratégico de Transmisiones número 22 (RETES22) "Strategic Signals Regiment number 22"[10][11] Spain Image not consistent with surroundings. Completely blurred in Bing. [44] 40°27′55″N 3°44′00″W / 40.465201°N 3.733313°W / 40.465201; -3.733313 (Puerta de Hierro)
Mando de Transmisiones del Ejército "Army Command Signals"[11][12] Spain Censored in Bing Bird's Eye view. [45] 40°24′25″N 3°47′16″W / 40.40706°N 3.78772°W / 40.40706; -3.78772 (Puerta de Hierro)
"Patio de los Naranjos" (lit. Orange Tree Yard) Spain Blurred on Google Maps. [46] 36°50′20″N 2°28′20″W / 36.838919°N 2.472312°W / 36.838919; -2.472312 (Patio de los Naranjos)
Pení aerial military base Spain Blurred on Google Maps. [47] 42°16′53″N 3°14′06″E / 42.2815176°N 3.2350751°E / 42.2815176; 3.2350751 (Patio de los Naranjos)
Zaragoza Air Base Spain Blurred intentionally on Bing Maps[13]. Rendered in lower resolution on Google Maps and Mapquest. [48][49][50] 36°50′20″N 2°28′20″W / 36.838919°N 2.472312°W / 36.838919; -2.472312 (Zaragoza Air Base)
National Defence Radio Establishment – West of Stockholm near Drottningholm Sweden Facility surrounded partially by woods which is blurred in Bing and Yahoo Maps. Replaced with badly edited overlay of woods in Eniro.se and Hitta.se. Clear in Google Maps. [51] 59°19′55″N 17°51′20″E / 59.332046°N 17.855496°E / 59.332046; 17.855496 (Försvarets Radioanstalt - Swedish National Defence Radio Establishment)

North America[edit]

Location Country Details Link and coordinates
Western Campeche Bank Mexico The Triangulos Chain and Obispo Chain of islands are blacked out in Google Maps.[why?] There is no detailed view in Bing Maps. [52] 20°42′41.73″N 92°13′23.64″W / 20.7115917°N 92.2232333°W / 20.7115917; -92.2232333 (Island Chains in Gulf of Mexico)
Number One Observatory Circle, official residence of the Vice President of the United States United States Buildings blurred for various dates in Google Earth. Other years the area lacks any obfuscation. [53] 38°55′16.64″N 77°04′01″W / 38.9212889°N 77.06694°W / 38.9212889; -77.06694 (Naval Observatory/Residence of the Vice President of the United States)
2207 Seymour Avenue United States The house belonged to Ariel Castro, who was convicted of kidnapping three girls and holding them captive in his home. Ariel Castro committed suicide in his prison cell on September 3, 2013. The house was demolished but the blurred shape of it remains on Google Maps street view. [54] 41°28′21.144″N 81°41′52.4832″W / 41.47254000°N 81.697912000°W / 41.47254000; -81.697912000 (2207 Seymour Avenue)
Auburn Correctional Facility (maximum security prison), Auburn, New York United States Shown as censored, however not in all years. [55] 42°56′4.92″N 76°34′27.64″W / 42.9347000°N 76.5743444°W / 42.9347000; -76.5743444 (Auburn Correctional Facility)
Rikers Island (prison), The Bronx, New York United States Only one section on the island is blurred, it appears two other sections had been blurred, but then partially removed. Does not appear blurred on Bing Maps. [56] 40°47′28″N 73°52′58″W / 40.79111°N 73.88278°W / 40.79111; -73.88278 (Rikers Island)
Amchitka Island, Alaska United States Part of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, part of the island is blurred. It is home to various nuclear tests in the late 50's; Most notably the Long Shot Test. It is expect in 2025 to become a restricted access wildlife preserve. [57] 51°29′36.9″N 179°02′24.8″W / 51.493583°N 179.040222°W / 51.493583; -179.040222 (Amchitka Island)
5561 NE Ambleside Rd

Seattle, WA 98105

Residence of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan

United States Google's Street View is blurred for this residence.

On June 28 2020, protesters marched to the residence of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. The house is blurred on google maps street view due to Jenny's previous work as a District Attorney

South America[edit]

Location Country Details Link and coordinates
South Sandwich islands United Kingdom In Google Maps, the satellite images of the islands are badly misaligned with their actual locations, by more than a mile in some places. [58] 58°00′S 26°30′W / 58.000°S 26.500°W / -58.000; -26.500 (South Sandwich Islands)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Deshpande, Rajeev (4 February 2007). "Google Earth agrees to blur pix of key Indian sites". The Times of India.
  2. ^ "Westchester 'Blurs' Out Terror Targets On Google". WCBS-TV. 8 May 2008. Archived from the original on 10 May 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  3. ^ Johnson, Jenna (22 July 2007). "Google's View of D.C. Melds New and Sharp, Old and Fuzzy". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  4. ^ "Google Earth prompts Indian fears". BBC News. 5 February 2007. Archived from the original on 8 March 2008.
  5. ^ Skatssoon, Judy (8 August 2005). "Lucas Heights image stays on Google". 34.0516520;150.9804300: ABC. Retrieved 3 July 2013.CS1 maint: location (link)
  6. ^ Moses, Asher (13 August 2007). "Google's photos of Sydney go all fuzzy". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 August 2007.
  7. ^ Parliament In Brief: 'No need to blur images' Archived May 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Shachtman, Noah (19 February 2009). "Google Earth Shows U.S. Drones at Pakistani Base?". Wired.
  9. ^ "Google Earth". earth.google.com. Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  10. ^ "Sitios Censurados De Espa/Ñ/A En Google Earth -Foro España" (in Spanish). Google-Earth.es. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Edificio invisible en Madrid". Urbanity.es. 5 May 2010. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  12. ^ "Photo of Pozuelo de Alarcón – Antenas del cuartel de transmisiones". Panoramio. 18 February 2007. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  13. ^ Rubio, Yaiza; Brezo, Félix (18 June 2013). "The Over-Exposure of Geographic Information About Installations of Interest for Defence in the Network". Journal of the Spanish Institute of Strategic Studies: 24. Retrieved 12 November 2019.

External links[edit]