Since Google Earth was released, we’ve seen a number of cases where companies and individuals have prepared something special for the satellites. We had the Firefox Crop Circle, the Maxim magazine cover and there are literally thousands of logos and other items that are visible from above.
Now that Google StreetView is getting so popular, cities are trying to look their best for those Google cameras. Of particular note is Windsor, Canada, which has been looking really bad in StreetView. When the Google cars first captured the city, they caught it in the midst of a labor dispute, which resulted in images of trash in parks, overgrown sports fields and other ugliness. Worse yet, Google captured crime tape and bloody bandages outside of a lounge where someone had been recently murdered. Google was willing to remove the murder scene, but has yet to revisit to fix the less important issues.
Windsor councillor Ron Jones has even indicated that the city would help pay the bill for Google to come back and reshoot. While I understand why they’d want to do that, I can’t imagine Google would go for it. If they paid, they’d presumably know exactly when the cars would be coming by and could get ready for it. This would certainly lead other cities to request the same treatment, as virtually every city could do some things to look nice if they knew the exact timing of the StreetView cars.