Thursday, February 14, 2008

Scary

Okay, can I just say, that google has gone too far!!! Alann mentioned last night that Google Maps has a new feature, it is called Street View. You can see a picture of the building you are looking up. Pretty awesome huh? Good idea for business and commercial places. You can get a sense of where you are going before you get there. I am all for this. Now, Google your house. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Are you frightened? Obviously this isn’t in place everywhere yet. I googled our old house in MO, and they didn’t have the feature included yet. Then I googled my mother’s house in AZ. I could only see the back yard there. But apparently Salt Lake is on board! You cannot see a picture of my house exactly, but there are enough views from other addresses that it frightens me. For example, I can tell first of all that it is summer and very bright out. It is a recent photo (as in, after we moved in) because the flag pole is gone and the tree is planted. But what is really frightening, is that my mother-in-law’s car is in the street. That means this picture was taken last August when my in-laws brought some stuff out for their other son. Now of course, I know this because I live there and I can accurately place these circumstances. But what else can I learn about my house? There is an old unused car, and an old boat, and we are rather trashy-looking people. What is next? Listing my phone number and when I am out of my house? My social security number?
I have to admit, I like the satellite view. It is kind of fun to look at my house from far enough away that there aren’t any real details. I like that. This frightens me. I am appalled. I did not say that it was okay for them to put my house’s picture on the web. Did they get permission from the addresses listed? I can see this being very bad indeed for Google. Yes, it is one static picture, but let’s run a scenario. Let’s say I list my husband’s Firebird in the classifieds. Someone decides they want it. They search for my name in the phone book, find my address, and then Google map it. If they see a trashy looking house, compared to a really nice house, who will they buy from? (Depends on their desire- pay less money or want a really nice car.) Now, let’s say they are less than scrupulous. If I innocently mention that we are going to be out of town for the weekend and therefore cannot let them see the car on Saturday, and they see a really nice looking house, knowing that we will be gone, doesn’t that lead into more of a temptation to break into my house? Without the street view feature, they could still find where I live and drive by, but if it is a distance and they don’t know what my house is like, wouldn’t that temper the temptation a little? I know I am not as trusting of people in general as I should be, but I am not paranoid. I think this has some serious ramifications.

5 comments:

Bowles Family said...

OK, first off, I see where you're coming from, but this feature has been in place for at least 3 years now (I know because we used it to see what our apt. building in Manhattan looked like) and I haven't heard about any rise in the crime rate due to it. It is a little unsettling, but I think we forget how much less other people care about us than we think. So, thats a bright side, right? Definitely write a letter if you feel so inclined. I will now go and check out my house! :)

Bowles Family said...

ok now im really laughing. I just looked up our house and you cant even see it because there is a bus fully covering it! Every other house on the street, yes, but ours, nope. Perks of living with a bus stop in your front yard?

Teene said...

I looked at mom's house. It was before the driveway was extended and before the front and backyard were done. You can see mom and Amy's car in the driveway so I wonder what day and time that would have happned? I tried the street view and all I could see was the blur of a tree.

Becca said...

Nobody said they would be quality pictures!!!
I know I am not as trusting as I should be. I won't write a letter, but it still worries me a little.

Mom KAS said...

Here in AZ the first commercially available aerial photographs were shot from a hot air balloon in the early 1900s ...