Blurred Lanes: Google Street View 'Defaces' London

BethPH
By BethPH Last edited 40 months ago
Blurred Lanes: Google Street View 'Defaces' London
Captain Kidd, Wapping
Captain Kidd, Wapping
Chigaco blurring
Chigaco blurring
Gap
Gap
Gladstone Arms, Borough
Gladstone Arms, Borough
Nelson's Head, E2
Nelson's Head, E2
The Old Kings Head, Southwark
The Old Kings Head, Southwark
Shakespeare's Head, EC1R
Shakespeare's Head, EC1R
The Sherlock Holmes, Northumberland Street
The Sherlock Holmes, Northumberland Street
The Wellington, Strand
The Wellington, Strand
Aldwych Theatre
Aldwych Theatre

We noticed recently that Google appears to take privacy on street view very seriously. So seriously, in fact, it's taking no chances that someone might identify the likes of Captain Kidd and Sherlock Holmes and has blurred out their faces on pub signs.

Theatre land also falls victim to Google's cautious smudgery, with the faces of actors in last year's Wolf Hall and some of Chicago's cast (but only the female ones, oddly) hidden from internet scrutiny. One lucky model in a Gap advert has escaped blurring while his colleagues were not so fortunate.

Have you seen any other Street View curiosities? Tell us in the comments.

All pictures from Google Street View.

Last Updated 19 January 2015

alisonloveslondon

It's a privacy issue. Google Street View blurs images when people request that their details (face, home, etc.) be "removed". It used to be that blurring was the only available option. However, it seems one can now ask for images to be removed altogether. Not everyone wants to be on the internet for all to see.

alisonloveslondon

Oops.meant to include a link explaining: http://www.quickonlinetips.com...

Christopher Dyer

Exercise for the reader: how do you propose that the face-blurring algorithm be improved to prevent this, while remaining performant enough for purpose, with reference to the Gap and RSC posters especially?

Ben

I take photographs of commercial spaces for Google streetview - www.smart360photography.co.uk
The Google panoramic software automatically detects faces and blurs them out. So it's not an over-zealous Google employee, but rather a computer that can't tell the difference between a person's face and a painting of a person's face.

M├Ânk Alpharius

Pie and a pint?

Dark Penguin

The Starbucks mermaid is blurred! Now I can't see what she looks like in London unless I go there. Nope, just have to use my imagination, I guess.

Joking aside, I'm disappointed by this development. I'd assumed that the blurring would be limited more or less to pedestrian eye level, but that hasn't happened.

qualidad

That's why the uncensored version should always be kept INDEFINITELY.
No one can predict such errors and it MUST be possible to fix it.
Google Street View is a virtual museum and no museum should be vandalized for any reason.