Aug 19, 2010

Google Maps: History/Real-Time

I've been wondering recently what it would be like to be able to toggle through time on google maps. The town where I grew up, for example, changed a lot over the years, and wouldn't it be interesting to have some kind of time line slider to go back to the good ol' days? just for a visit?

If this isn't something that Google has looked into acquiring, I think they should think about keeping archives next time they update their satellite imagery so we can take a look back! This looking back seems harmless enough, but I do understand concerns about privacy and revealing real-time information and detail.

However real-time information could be interesting for things like - live weather maps and live events (even educating us better on foreign issues by showing interactive news points on said map, perhaps?)

Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia article on Google Maps:

Street map overlays, in some areas, may not match up precisely with the corresponding satellite images. The street data may be entirely erroneous, or simply out of date:

" 'The biggest challenge is the currency of data, the authenticity of data,' said Google Earth representative Brian McLendon. In other words: The main complaints the Google guys get are 'that's not my house' and 'that's not my car.' Google Maps satellite images are not in real time; they are several years old."[55]

As a result, in March 2008 Google added a feature to edit the locations of houses and businesses.[56][57]

Restrictions have been placed on Google Maps through the apparent censoring of locations deemed potential security threats. In some cases the area of redaction is for specific buildings, but in other cases, such as Washington, D.C.,[58] the restriction is to use outdated imagery. These locations are fully listed on Satellite map images with missing or unclear data.

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