GeoCarta Has Moved

Jan 20, 2007

Google Earth Obscures Some Iraq Bases

The Telegraph reports that Google has blotted some British military bases in Iraq on its popular mapping feature Google Earth. The action was taken at the request of the British Government in order to hinder terrorist attacks. The action comes after published reports that terrorists in Iraq were using the maps to target the most vulnerable areas of British bases.

The Telegraph reported that British military officials in Iraq were astonished at the clarity with which all their positions were shown. The satellite pictures, which were easily viewed on the internet depicted vulnerable tent locations, vehicle parks and were even clear enough to show tank tracks.

The paper reported that in addition to obscuring military positions in Iraq, Google Earth has also blotted out sensitive posts in the United Kingdom itself. Facilities now hidden from view include nuclear submarine pens in Scotland, and an eavesdropping base. A spokesperson for Google told The Telegraph, "Google gets information from third-party providers so all the pictures are publicly available."

The publicity regarding military posts visible on Google Earth have prompted The Register to sponsor a "Spot the Black Helicopter" competition where users were asked to find sensitive military bases using Google Earth.

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