Google Maps image of boy's dead body to be removed


Interesting how the SFgate video makes Google out to be this evil company that would refuse to remove an image of a dead body, but the article mentions that Google is hoping to get it removed by the end of the month.

Hoping? I would think it would take a few seconds, at least to blur it out until a new image comes in.


So Google has the ability to immediately change the image, but is choosing not to because …?

I dunno, was offensive sensationalism on the internet ever valuable in any way?

Oh, the usual reason that large companies - and increasingly the govt - use: because fuck you that’s why.

If they wanted to, they could remove it in the time that it takes to sing “Stand by Me.”


Boundegar’s right that blurring shouldn’t take long at all, as far as I can tell. Waiting for the satellite to be in the correct position to take a new photo can’t be hurried. One time I had to commission a satellite photo to be taken for an episode of Will & Grace, the one where Grace marries Leo. We wanted to end the episode with a crane shot of the five actors in Central Park that zoomed up into space a la Powers of Ten, and it turned out it was totally doable. I forget the company we used, but they told us the dates and times they’d be able to do it (I seem to remember the windows of opportunity were something like a week to ten days apart, but at regular predictable intervals), and we adjusted the shooting schedule accordingly. This was around eleven years ago, and we couldn’t exactly predict the timing of the picture down to the second (or even the minute, to be honest), but for what it’s worth, the satellite shot that the crane shot dissolves to was actually shot within an hour of each other.

I think we paid something like three grand for the shot.


I don’t think it’s that easy. There’s a marker on the spot now, siting map error.

Amazing how many events are captured by surveillance of one sort or another (be it satellite or a mobile phone or what have you). I bet at some point in the future every square inch of the Earth will be available for remote viewing in real time.

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I never assumed that it was easy, but other people seem to think that blurring the image could happen quickly. Since Google has not blurred the image, then either it is not simple or they have some reason for pretending that it takes longer.

Odd that the map error does not always show up.

I would think that “We are not going to remove that image!” would say that better than “We are going to remove it as soon as possible.”

The issue likely isn’t that they need a replacement image. They almost certainly have tiles for that area from many previous satellite passes. It’s that they have hundreds of thousands of servers around the world and specific procedures for updating them so they’re all in sync with each other. Since this is the first time they’ve ever honored a request of this type, they likely don’t have a procedure in place. For updates due to satellite passes, those likely go into a queue that updates servers on a scheduled basis. Whether it takes ten days or thirty days for the latest satellite images to be updated, no one notices or cares.

It’s easy to think of large entities on the net as being like a home computer but there are huge differences which allow for scalability and reliability that you wouldn’t get from a setup at home. It’s like the people who try to compare the economy of a nation to a family’s home budget. They both involve money but otherwise are pretty dissimilar. Same goes for large scale services online. Heck, it took Bing Maps something like eighteen months to add South Sudan to their maps after the nation gained its independence. If this type of situation occurs frequently, Google probably could come up with a procedure for rolling out a change faster, though that would likely still be a day or two wait to propagate the change to all the servers in all their data centers around the world.


If it isn’t already.

Does anyone look through what is put up in the first place?

Way to go BB. Inform all those global Internet rubberneckers
//Wonders what stats are being gathered

This should be blurred or removed.

The Washington, DC pooping hobo on Street View, though, should remain forever.

Everyone will have personal jet packs too, and you can visit the moon on vacation.

I must have caught it at just the right moment as it’s gone now.

It appears so. While I was writing my earlier response to you I saw it, but it had disappeared by the time I went to hit reply.