"Why the long face?"

Google has begun blurring faces on Street View:

This reminds me of the "censorship" pixelization code in The Sims that prevents you from ever seeing their little 1×2-pixel SimRogenous zones. (Don Hopkins once told me a long story about how hard that was to implement...)

There are also now Wikipedia links in the maps (checkbox on the "More" tab). There aren't very many of them, though. Anyone know what triggers their presence?

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25 Responses:

  1. placeslost says:

    There was a whole local news expose here in Austin on how Streetview was unsafe because it helps pedophiles target children, or some such nonsense. It's basically idiots being idiots.

    I mean I guess I understand the privacy issue a little bit, but still, it's not like these are realtime images.

    • rnb says:

      I don't think we should underestimate how much safer that horse feels now.

    • mackys says:

      I find the whole debate about seeing people's faces in pictures to be bizzare. Aren't the legalities of this act well established by many paparazzi vs movie star lawsuits? When you walk around in public, you have no expectation of privacy. People can take pictures of you all day long, as long as you're on public property. And then do whatever they want with the pictures. Don't like it? Then don't go out in public.

      With those people bitching about "you took a picture of my cat!" at least the cat being photographed is on private property. But these people who walk around on public streets and then get their panties in a knot about someone taking their picture? I don't understand them.

      As for the horse's face getting blurred, but not the faces of the people in the carriage the horse is pulling... I don't know whether to think that's really horrible AI, or really fantastic AI that has a sense of humor. ;]

      Perhaps this is one of those Transmet sentient horses, the kind that really would sue if its picture were published on Google street view...

      • placeslost says:

        I agree that people who get all pissy about pictures of them are stupid.

        I think there is a difference though, in the law, concerning a private citizen and a celebrity. A person who is a celebrity is in the public eye and as such isn't afforded the same privacy.

        I still think it's bonkers to think that pedophiles will see a kid in a picture and then attempt to discern which house in the picture the kid lives in, and then go there and try to do their thing with said kid. Ridiculous.

        Maybe it's just a really ugly horse?

      • strspn says:

        It depends on whether the use is commercial, and a whole lot else -- see the right of publicity.

    • cavorite says:

      The best part of that is the Austin streetview data is incredibly shitty in quality, it's hard to discern much detail about people here anyways. The privacy issue is pretty much a non-issue as long as it's from the public access easements.

      Was it Fox7? sounds like the kinda thing they would do a story about.

      • placeslost says:

        You know, I don't know if it was Fox 7. I pretty much refuse to watch the news here, and must have left the TV on in one room and then walked back in during the newcast and was disgusted by the stupid story enough to pay the attention that I paid it.

        I haven't really looked at any of the streetview stuff, I guess it just doesn't interest me enough.

  2. ex_sonjaaa says:

    Many Wikipedia articles have longitude and latitude coordinates in the upper right corner.

    • relaxing says:

      someone do the right thing here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JWZ

    • remonstrare says:

      But the part that makes it Googleable is the geo microformat those coordinates are wrapped in. Go Go Gadget Semantic-Web!

      • jwz says:

        Are you sure that's actually how Google is getting the data?

        I already went and added <META NAME="geo.position" CONTENT="37.771007;-122.412694"> to all of the DNA Lounge pages, years ago. How many more formats am I going to have to present this nonsense in?

        The Wikipedia page on this nonsense gives no indication of who, if anybody, uses which of the various non-standards.

        • remonstrare says:

          It's like backing a dot-com. There's no clear winner yet, just either invest in all of them, or immediately flock to whatever the cool people are using today.

          Google tells you what they use... whatever's in Wikipedia's {{coord}} template right now. But {{coord}} uses the geo microformat I linked earlier.

          <span class="geo" title="Toronto">
           <span class="latitude">43.651234</span>,
          &nbsp<span class="longitude">-79.383333</span>

  3. relaxing says:

    I'm too equine for G.M.A.P.S.

  4. baldghoti says:

    Real reason for blurring? Sarah Jessica Parker threatened to sue them for using her likeness.

    • placeslost says:

      Did you see that piece about her on TMZ yes...wait...did I just admit that I watched TMZ yesterday? Someone needs to blur me permanantly.

  5. defenestr8r says:

    blurring *horse* faces?! just to be sure that horse doesn't sue...

  6. romulusnr says:

    But they didn't do it for this horse in front of it.

    They blurred the face of the white horse, but not of the brown horse.

    I call racism.

  7. merovingian says:

    Looks to me like the horse's head is on fire, full of smoke and hot like a barbecue.

    I think that's a HELL CARRIAGE.

  8. rawdogue says:

    Why thank you kind sir. It's been a goodly amount of time since I've "LOLed", as these kids are wont to say.

  9. harvie says:

    Also don't forget Wikimapia!

  10. mcity says:

    Obviously, that horse is in the Witness Protection Program.