Censorship in 3D

Back in September we had a look at censored imagery in Google Earth. With Google continuing to roll out 3D imagery it is inevitable that they will wish to cover areas that countries wish to keep censored. Although most countries have little or no control over satellite imagery, aerial imagery captured from aircraft has to comply with the local laws.

Cephalonia International Airport on the Greek island of Cephalonia is one such instance. Instead of simply leaving it out of the 3D imagery, Google have rendered it in an interesting blocky pattern. There are, however, uncensored satellite images for the location, as well as Street View around the edges and user submitted photos captured at the airport itself.

Thank you to GEB reader Andrew for bringing this to our attention.

To see it in Google Earth, download this KML file.

Cephalonia International Airport

About Timothy Whitehead

Timothy has been using Google Earth since 2004 when it was still called Keyhole before it was renamed Google Earth in 2005 and has been a huge fan ever since. He is a programmer working for Red Wing Aerobatx and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.






PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.

Comments

  1. I don’t think this censored 3D imagery is made on purpose. If you see 100-200 meters northern from the airport you will notice the same censoring. There is nothing to ‘hide’ in this part of the nearby village.

    Moreover, considering that “There are uncensored satellite images for the location, as well as Street View around the edges and user submitted photos captured at the airport itself”, as you stated above, then there is no reason to censor this kind of imagery (which gives a lot less information that satellite imagry and Street View).

    I think this pixelization is made by mistake, maybe because of an error in coding the 3D imagery, or due to a possible turbulence of the plane/zeppelin (i don’t know how these photos are taken) the moment of the capture (which also leads to an error in the photo “stitching process”.

    • Timothy Whitehead says:

      There is obvious pixelation in the imagery around the edges, and the censorship follows the shape of the airport. The location to the north has a communications tower and possibly other sensitive installations.

  2. Dubai (city) got Street View imagery today – no obvious censorship of the type covered in this post, but the imagery seems not to extend to some of the highest status residential areas nor to the less salubrious north eastern sector. No 3D imagery yet, although the skyscrapers would make it an ideal place for this, but many of these and other buildings can be viewed as 3D models.



PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.