Blurred, pixelated, blacked out, or simply erased: areas of the planet are inaccessible to the curious on Google Maps.
For example, the web giant pixelated 51 French prisons at the request of Nicole Belloubet, Minister of Justice in 2018, indicates Franceinfo. The reason ? A certain Redoine Faïd and his escape by helicopter from the prison center of Réau, in Seine-et-Marne. Since October 12, 2018, a ministerial decree has therefore been issued to force geolocation and catrography applications to blur prisons.
These are not, moreover, the only places blurred by the French government. According to the Ca m’enseignement media, military complexes and nuclear power plants cannot be seen from the air. These are so-called “sensitive” areas because of the information that foreign countries or simply malicious people could learn from them.
Yet another space is pixelated: the Fort de Brégançon, summer residence of the President of the Republic, for security reasons.
Other circumstances explain the reality of this disorder abroad. In Gaza City, Palestine, Google Maps images are poor quality and dated. According to Numerama, following an amendment passed by the Palestinian Legislative Council in 1997, aerial photography of the city became impossible. If now the amendment has been removed, in 2020 Google had not yet succeeded in obtaining sharper images of the region.
On the other hand, some places in the world are not only blurred. They are invisible, blacked out or completely non-existent on the application. From the slideshow below, Planet has identified 10 areas that are not visible on Google Maps, according to information from the media I care about and Fredzone.