Friday, May 04, 2012

Blur Worthy?

Trying to locate the Foreign Office in Berlin featured on my blog earlier today, I came across Caroline-von-Humboldt-Weg with a blurry patch covering a portion of a row of townhouses. Whichever direction I moved on Street View, the patch covered the same building(s):

[image source: Google Street View]

So what is so special about this area that it needs to be blurred? It was pretty easy to find the below photo, revealing the facades underneath (here is a frontal photo as well). Do these two townhouse facades merit blurring? Sure, the yellow one is pretty hideous, but it's certainly not blur worthy just due to that fact. So even with the buildings revealed (they can be seen at Bing Maps as well), I'm still left wondering, "Why?"

[image source]

Well, it's not something raunchy or controversial or suggestive being blurred, it's that "more than 100,000 Germans ask[ed] Google to blur their homes" back in 2010, seeing Street View as an invasion of privacy. Ironically, this supposed preservation of privacy via blurring makes someone like me hone in on the blurred property and discover documentation of the buildings elsewhere. Without the blur I would have just glossed over these townhouses, never thinking twice about them.


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