The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #3 - Google Maps

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The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #3 - Google Maps

Unread postby Liz » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:13 am

From Tidbit #15:

“In 2010 Google maps was forced to blur out images at street level, after complaints by residents whose houses were shown. People were given the opportunity to opt out of Street View in order to comply with German privacy standards. 3% of Germans actually did this and these buildings were blurred out, making Street View look rather comical. In some cases single housing blocks were blurred out among a whole row of buildings on well known city streets, while in the countryside many large houses were blurred out obscuring the entire street. Google has since stopped updating Google Street View in Germany. Ironically the blurred out images have attracted attention all around the world, which is probably not exactly what the owners of those houses wanted.”

How do you feel about the ability of anyone in the entire world to be able to look at your house via Google maps?
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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #3 - Google Maps

Unread postby stroch » Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:10 am

I can understand people's privacy concerns, but it would be hypocritical for me to mind, as I am deeply attached to Google Street View. I use it when planning a trip, to see the neighborhood hotels are in, to "walk" routes I will take, find bus routes, restaurants, thrift stores, attractions, etc. When I get where I'm going, I get more out of the trip. Not to mention losing someone's address locally, but remembering what the house looks like and searching the street for it.

It is also fabulous for showing students what places really look like -- street view of Paris is WAY different than static photos in a book.

What I am happy that they have improved is face blur. I was searching a French Quarter street for an architecture example, and there were 3 frames of my DH and next door neighbor eating lunch on a friend's porch.
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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #3 - Google Maps

Unread postby shaman-art » Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:46 am

A former neighbor of my parents had his house blurred out as well. I think those house owners are afraid that their property might attract thieves, but they don't realize that if their's is the only blurred out house in a whole street this makes it even more interesting.
I value Street View as a good tool for planning tourist trips, but I also see no point in capturing residential neighborhoods with no touristic/architectural/historical/... value.
Recently I found out that Street View Los Angeles now has even photographed the small street where Johnny lives. It's a cul-de-sac and you only see closed gates and trash cans. What's the point?

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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #3 - Google Maps

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:49 am

The fact that you can punch my address into Google Maps and my house pops up, I find to be totally creepy and invasive. But yet, yes, I’m a complete hypocrite. I use street view all the time when I’m traveling – both locally and non-locally – for all the reasons stroch mentioned.

But what bothers me much more than Google Maps is all the “tracking” that happens when you leave your house. I’m the paranoid person who refused to get an electronic tolling device for years just because I didn’t like all that data being kept on me – where I am and when. And then came the cell phone GPS signals. And even if you turn off GPS, your phone can be tracked to the nearest cell tower, and even if you turn it off completely, there’s still the potential for it to send out a location beacon. And we probably don’t even want to get into what the NSA is, or at least has the potential, to do.

People usually laugh when I tell them my views on this topic, saying things like, “what do you have to worry about, you’re like the quiet mom that nobody would bother”. I just hate it all on principle. It’s the potential that if someone, anyone, government or otherwise really wanted to take me or my family out, it would only take a couple of seconds to find us, provided they had the data. If you're not worried about the government, think what a serial killer could do if he was a database administrator for, say, Verizon. :fear: Maybe I watch to many movies. :-) Maybe sensationalism has gotten to me. ;)

Great discussion so far!! I hope to get back to the previous questions after work tonight. :hope:

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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #3 - Google Maps

Unread postby shadowydog » Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:25 pm

I have never used google street view. When I need directions, I use Yahoo maps to get driving directions. I wonder if there is even a google map street view of my house as I live out in the middle of nowhere. :lol:

As for tracking, I don't think my phone has GPS tracking on it. And most of the time it stays home when I am out and about. I grew up with a phone that was on a party line and back when I was working, you didn't make personal phones during work. So I never have learned to chat nonstop on the phone. :lol:

Yup.....I was right. No street views anywhere around where I live. :biggrin:
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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #3 - Google Maps

Unread postby fireflydances » Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:19 pm

I was very impressed by the German respect--and insistence for--privacy that I found in my research for the tidbit on the right to privacy. It truly took me back and I found myself questioning my easy acquiescence to things like Google maps which seemed so funny, so cute, the first time I encountered them. Imagine -- my own door with it's hand-painted door hanger!

It was what I read that changed my opinion -- so that now I really wonder why are we allowing this new intrusion? Do we want to be a dot, with a face, on a map held by someone tracking all the opinions -- pro or con--matters of importance or perhaps matters we do not yet understand as important? You know, something called "Doubleclick"

At the same time I have always stood away from revealing myself in Facebook, and I had to fight with Google to retain my right to my "name" which is obviously not a standard name and obviously designed as a mask. I feel I "own" my own thoughts and words, and no one else, and if that means I lose the right to post pictures, so be it.
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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #3 - Google Maps

Unread postby nebraska » Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:34 pm

I put my address into the google search bar and looked around a bit. Both street view and satellite view are obviously stock photos because they show green growing things, not snow and bare trees.

What really freaked me out about this is that a search of my address reveals several real estate companies' websites listing information about my house -- its value, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, year it was built, etc etc The search for my address also brings up Mr nebraska's name and a white page listing of our telephone number and other information. Although the real estate websites list our property as "not for sale" it seems odd to see it there. I am sure these companies must search (or link into? :freaked: ) information at the county courthouse about deeds and taxes. Which are no doubt public record. Interesting. I suppose it could be researched the opposite way by putting Mr n's name in the search bar ... or mine, for that matter.

As for cel phones, firefly, there have been cases in my area of Nebraska where people lost in snow storms have been located for rescue by the pinging of their phones. So there is an "up" side to it. However, recent discussion by Ford motor company about the ability of services like On Star being able to keep detailed records is kind of unnerving. It is the age we live in and honestly, I think Facebook is probably the least of our worries because Facebook users have more control over what information they share.

Shadowy, your address is available in satellite view and I have sent a link in a PM for you to see it. Like my home's satellite view, it is not current because the satellite picture shows your garden growing lushly.

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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #3 - Google Maps

Unread postby marija » Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:55 pm

Street view has the same background as the the tabloid press for me.
I do not think that it was invented how Stroch has declared it to be used only for practical reasons. My guess is that people are talking more and more for the private lives of others, without being seen themselves.
On the other hand, more and more people gave their private life to the media. Everything is made ​​public. Everything has to go to TV or / and into the net. Our children share all their thoughts with the whole world...they don't notice how dangerous it could be.
Thank God my family and I live somewhere on the country, so it is also not pay to watch our street with google street view.(I believe they wouldn't find us :biglaugh: )
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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #3 - Google Maps

Unread postby shadowydog » Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:14 pm

nebraska wrote:I put my address into the google search bar and looked around a bit. Both street view and satellite view are obviously stock photos because they show green growing things, not snow and bare trees.

What really freaked me out about this is that a search of my address reveals several real estate companies' websites listing information about my house -- its value, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, year it was built, etc etc The search for my address also brings up Mr nebraska's name and a white page listing of our telephone number and other information. Although the real estate websites list our property as "not for sale" it seems odd to see it there. I am sure these companies must search (or link into? :freaked: ) information at the county courthouse about deeds and taxes. Which are no doubt public record. Interesting. I suppose it could be researched the opposite way by putting Mr n's name in the search bar ... or mine, for that matter.

As for cel phones, firefly, there have been cases in my area of Nebraska where people lost in snow storms have been located for rescue by the pinging of their phones. So there is an "up" side to it. However, recent discussion by Ford motor company about the ability of services like On Star being able to keep detailed records is kind of unnerving. It is the age we live in and honestly, I think Facebook is probably the least of our worries because Facebook users have more control over what information they share.

Shadowy, your address is available in satellite view and I have sent a link in a PM for you to see it. Like my home's satellite view, it is not current because the satellite picture shows your garden growing lushly.



True. But as I posted in the other thread on news, people tend to over react to scary things. There are over hundreds of millions of people in the US. What are the chances of you out of all the millions of people to be noticed or targeted on any of these sites?
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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #3 - Google Maps

Unread postby nebraska » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:50 pm

The street view of my address shows the road past my place but not the house or yard itself. Like shadowy I question how likely it is that we will be targeted because of street view alone. Anyone who would look at my house would know there is little of great value here anyway.

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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #3 - Google Maps

Unread postby shaman-art » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:46 am

nebraska wrote:The search for my address also brings up Mr nebraska's name and a white page listing of our telephone number and other information. Although the real estate websites list our property as "not for sale" it seems odd to see it there. I am sure these companies must search (or link into? :freaked: ) information at the county courthouse about deeds and taxes. Which are no doubt public record. Interesting.


This is something that depends on the law in your country. I am always surprised how easy it is to find information about US citizens online.
Here in Germany you don't get any information about properties that are not for sale online. You need to go to the local land registry office and you'll have to pay a fee, but you will only get the name of the owner, the size of the property and the date when it was bought.
And if you don't want to have your phone number listed it won't show up in the White Pages, neither will your address.
On the other hand over here it is easier to find a person. Here everyone must be registered with the local community. Everyone has an Identity Card with the current address. The Identity Card is all you need for travelling inside the European Union, you don't need a passport for that.
But still that register is not easily accessible for the public. You need to go to the office and give a rason why you are looking for a certain person.
Correct me if I'm wrong: As far as I know in the US if you don't have a driver's license or a passport you can simply drop of the face of the earth the moment you move. To me that makes identity theft and fraud very easy.

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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #3 - Google Maps

Unread postby Liz » Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:30 am

shaman-art wrote:Recently I found out that Street View Los Angeles now has even photographed the small street where Johnny lives. It's a cul-de-sac and you only see closed gates and trash cans. What's the point?

:lol: Amazing that he hasn't stopped it somehow. There are plenty of neighborhoods in the US that you can't look at. I'm surprised that's not one of them. But I just checked, and there it is in broad daylight. :whistle:

But as others have said, I'm a hypocrite. I was shocked the first time I saw that my house could actually be seen. It's only been available to see in the last 3 years. I thought we were too far out there in the country. NOT. But I'm probably the biggest offender. Not only am I constantly doing satellite surveillance, but I post the links I find in my tidbits. But you have to admit you love them. Of course, it's not so bad because most (but not all) of those places are public places.

It does come in handy when you are going to a new place and you want to visualize what it looks like so that you can easily find it. I'm a very visual person, so it really helps.

This whole thing is just one of those things that people my father's age must be so in awe about. But he disappoints me because he doesn't seem to be phased by it. I never expected this kind of thing in a million years (back in the 70s).
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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #3 - Google Maps

Unread postby Liz » Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:08 am

nebraska wrote:
What really freaked me out about this is that a search of my address reveals several real estate companies' websites listing information about my house -- its value, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, year it was built, etc etc The search for my address also brings up Mr nebraska's name and a white page listing of our telephone number and other information. Although the real estate websites list our property as "not for sale" it seems odd to see it there. I am sure these companies must search (or link into? :freaked: ) information at the county courthouse about deeds and taxes. Which are no doubt public record. Interesting. I suppose it could be researched the opposite way by putting Mr n's name in the search bar ... or mine, for that matter.

Yeah, that kind of thing bothers me more. But again, I'm a hypocrite because I've looked on Zillow many times to find info on other houses (like the one my daughter was considering renting with her roommate).

nebraska wrote:As for cel phones, firefly, there have been cases in my area of Nebraska where people lost in snow storms have been located for rescue by the pinging of their phones. So there is an "up" side to it.

I find it rather comforting that my daughter could be tracked if her cell phone is with her.
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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #3 - Google Maps

Unread postby Liz » Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:18 am

shaman-art wrote:
nebraska wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong: As far as I know in the US if you don't have a driver's license or a passport you can simply drop of the face of the earth the moment you move. To me that makes identity theft and fraud very easy.

I suppose you are right. However, it's tough to do anything without having a driver's lisc. or ID card. To see the doctor, you are required to show proof of identity.
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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #3 - Google Maps

Unread postby Buster » Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:14 am

Do you think the discomfort might be at least partially due to the magnitude of the invasion? Anyone can see your house. But how different, really, is that from living in a village? All of your neighbors know not only what your house looks like from the outside, but also when you're home, whose car is parked outside, what you hang on your clothesline...

Make no mistake about it, we are all living very public lives. I work in a place that has full coverage security cameras which are being monitored not only in the building, but also at corporate headquarters two states away.

The village police station has "security cameras" aimed at the idyllic bandstand on the green in the center of town. It's all whitewashed under the banner of "public safety", of course.

The more we move to paperless transactions, the more distinct trails we leave, though tracing people is far from new. (Guess we can thank J. Edgar and the Pinkertons for that :dillingerhello: )

As far as vanishing in the US goes, it is surprisingly difficult. Money is a real problem - you need a social security number to get a "real job", some sort of ID for any housing situation, and credit cards for many transactions. If you don't mind being broke and homeless, then I guess it is possible...


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