Germany pixelates 240,000 buildings from Google Street View

Friday, April 08, 2011

Just a few days ago I was using Google Street View to take a look at the streets of Frankfurt, and was struck by the number of pixellated buildings. Google Street View took an exceptionally long time to make the streets of Germany available, due to privacy concerns. I don't remember the exact details but I think there was an order given by a judge that a few more months leeway be given for people to request their homes and buildings be pixellated.

As a result, every block or so one runs into a pixellated building, and these pixellated buildings really stand out. Here's one example of two pixellated buildings in the same shot, and even though the buildings themselves are now hidden, the big pixellated buildings in the middle of the rest really do become the centre of attention.



Where does the 240,000 number come from? From an article in Zeit here. It mentions on page 2 that it's particularly interesting that sites like Das Telefonbuch and Sightwalk.de provide just as much if not more private information (not just images but also names and phone numbers), but have not attracted the same controversy that Google has.

Next up in Germany: Microsoft Street Side.

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