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Google turns back time in New Orleans

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Google turns back time in New Orleans

Old 03-30-07, 03:15 PM
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Google turns back time in New Orleans

Searched for "Google" and this didn't come up, apologize if it's a repost:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...rss_technology

Google Goes Back to Pre-Katrina Maps
By CAIN BURDEAU
The Associated Press
Thursday, March 29, 2007; 10:05 PM


NEW ORLEANS -- Google's popular map portal has replaced post-Hurricane Katrina satellite imagery with pictures taken before the storm, leaving locals feeling like they're in a time loop and even fueling suspicions of a conspiracy.

Scroll across the city and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and everything is back to normal: Marinas are filled with boats, bridges are intact and parks are filled with healthy, full-bodied trees.

"Come on," said an incredulous Ruston Henry, president of the economic development association in New Orleans' devastated Lower 9th Ward. "Just put in big bold this: 'Google, don't pull the wool over the world's eyes. Let the truth shine.'"

Chikai Ohazama, a Google Inc. product manager for satellite imagery, said the maps now available are the best the company can offer. Numerous factors decide what goes into the databases, "everything from resolution, to quality, to when the actual imagery was acquired."

He said he was not sure when the current images replaced views of the city taken after Katrina struck Aug. 29, 2005, flooding an estimated 80 percent of New Orleans.

In the images available Thursday, the cranes working to fix the breach of the 17th Street Canal are gone. Blue tarps that covered roofless homes are replaced by shingles. Homes wiped off their foundations are miraculously back in place in the Lower 9th. So, too, is the historic lighthouse on Lake Pontchartrain.

But in the Lower 9th Ward, the truth isn't as pretty, 19 months after Katrina.

"Everything is missing. The people are missing. Nobody is there," Henry said.

After Katrina, Google's satellite images were in high demand among exiles and hurricane victims anxious to see whether their homes were damaged.

The new, virtual Potemkin village is fueling the imagination of locals frustrated with the slow pace of recovery and what they see as attempts by political leaders to paint a rosier picture.

Pete Gerica, a fisherman who lives in eastern New Orleans, said he printed pictures of his waterside homestead from Google to use in his arguments with insurance adjusters.

"I think a lot of stuff they're doing right now is smoke and mirrors because tourism is so off," Gerica said. "It might be somebody's weird spin on things looking better."

Henry also wondered whether Google's motives might be less than pure.

"Is Google part of the conspiracy?" he said. "Why these images of pre-Katrina? Seems mighty curious."

Ceeon Quiett, spokeswoman for Mayor Ray Nagin, said that as far as she knew, the city did not request the map change.

"My first reaction was, that's a bit problematic," she said.

Ohazama, the Google product manager, said he "personally" was not asked by city or state officials to change the imagery, but he added that Google gets many requests from users and governments to update and change its imagery.

Google has become a go-to service for people looking for up-close satellite imagery.

"I use it on a regular basis in my class," said Craig Colten, a geographer at Louisiana State University who has written extensively on New Orleans. He called Google's switch "unbelievable."

"I'm sure the mayor is thrilled," he quipped.
I cannot think of a reason Google would do this intentionally. They had to know people would notice, and I'm surprised it wasn't met with a "whoops, that wasn't supposed to happen. We'll fix it." from Google.

Because they didn't say that, it leads me to believe something else is going on, but as I said I cannot think of what the reason could be.
Old 03-30-07, 03:17 PM
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What conspiracy?
Old 03-30-07, 03:24 PM
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I just checked google map for my place and the tree I removed a few years ago is back!
Old 03-30-07, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
What conspiracy?

The google conspiracy to take over the world. Duh!
Old 03-30-07, 03:28 PM
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My hometown about 50 miles outside of Chicago used to be on Google Earth (back when it was Keyhole) in full glory. Now, there's no map of it at all.
Old 03-30-07, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Numanoid
My hometown about 50 miles outside of Chicago used to be on Google Earth (back when it was Keyhole) in full glory.
I, for one, would like to see your glory keyhole.
Old 03-30-07, 03:31 PM
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Like I said, I have no idea why this would happen, but it seems to be a pretty glaring mistake to me.

If this keeps up we'll be able to look at satellite images of Atlantis.
Old 03-30-07, 03:38 PM
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Google doesn't care about black people.
Old 03-30-07, 03:45 PM
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Google found these old images...at least they didn't loot them.
Old 03-30-07, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Randy Miller III
Google found these old images...at least they didn't loot them.
Speak for yourself! When I left for work this morning I specifically remember my other cars parked in the driveway..

I just checked Google maps and they are all gone!!
Old 03-30-07, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Numanoid
My hometown about 50 miles outside of Chicago used to be on Google Earth (back when it was Keyhole) in full glory. Now, there's no map of it at all.
My hometown is 60 miles outside of Chicago, and as far as I know, it's never had high-res satellite images on Google.
Old 03-30-07, 05:14 PM
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I went to Google and found my house hasn't even been built yet!
It is just an old cornfield!

Maybe Google is foreseeing the future and something terrible is going to happen!
Old 03-30-07, 05:17 PM
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F you all, I thought it was interesting.
Old 03-30-07, 05:27 PM
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hahah...everyone is harsh. funny article anyway.
Old 03-31-07, 04:06 AM
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@ everyone
Old 03-31-07, 07:03 AM
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Mymomenem agree widdah babajood. Googlebeddah mamee sum gumbo. Wery'at? Laissez les bon Temps Roulez!
Old 03-31-07, 12:21 PM
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funny, I checked and this is what came up on google satellite:

Old 03-31-07, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Draven
Searched for "Google"
Just go to www.google.com

I found this out by going to yahoo.com and searching for this "google" that you speak of.
Old 03-31-07, 01:22 PM
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It is hard to believe that this actually bothers people. But then, I have never seen google as a political player who is trying to keep the masses happy about the perfect world we live in.
Old 03-31-07, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
It is hard to believe that this actually bothers people.
People are increasingly reactionary and easily bothered.
Old 03-31-07, 05:31 PM
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We are not! And how DARE you even IMPLY such a thing!

Mymomenem anyou done babajoo!
Old 03-31-07, 06:00 PM
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Question, and I'm just asking here, would anyone be bothered if the Google image for Manhattan still showed the WTC? I'm not saying "up in arms" here but maybe kinda confused?

That's all I got from this.
Old 03-31-07, 07:19 PM
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Good point. I don't know. Maybe it has to do with availability of maps or something.
Old 03-31-07, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Morf
My hometown is 60 miles outside of Chicago, and as far as I know, it's never had high-res satellite images on Google.
my hometown is 90 miles from chi (ottawa for those who are curious)and it doesnt zoom for shit. i live int chicago now so i could care less since its all high res
Old 03-31-07, 09:25 PM
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Maybe they have a thing where they play Sim City, and someone redeveloped the area.

Then again, you'd think you would see monster attacks on there from time to time.

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