Do Aerial Maps Violate Our Privacy?

These Maps Are Nice to Look at, but Not Smart from the LA Times revisits the entire "do aerial maps show too much" issue. Past stories on this topic have tended to look at how various countries are concerned that sensitive areas are displayed. This reporter takes a different angle, about whether maps show too much about our own homes.

So do you have a privacy right for your house not to be displayed? My initial reaction was no. Airplanes, helicopters and satellites fly overhead all the time taking pictures. They've been doing this since before such images where shown through products from Google and Microsoft. The data's already been out there, accessible in other ways, for ages. Heck, pick any car chase in LA and people know how the helicopters go up, broadcasting "private" images from above to anyone. Aerial privacy -- c'mon!

Then again, perhaps Google and Microsoft should consider allowing people to block out their homes, if they can prove they are the owners. If the White House and the US Capitol get to be blanked out, why not give everyone the right as good customer relations?