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The St. Paul suburb with private roads may be the first U.S. city to ask that street images be removed.Google Street View Not Welcome in North Oaks, Minnesota [startribune.com]
The city of 4,500 residents has demanded that Google Maps remove images of North Oaks homes from the website's Street View feature, where any Internet user can glimpse a home from the nearest road.
North Oaks' unique situation, in which the roads are privately owned by the residents and the city enforces a trespassing ordinance, may have made it the first city in the country to request that the online search engine remove images from Google Maps.
The mapping from space doesn't seem too invasive, but the street shots of the front of your house do seem a bit more problematic for the one of the reasons I cited above
Most likely the law can't even go in there unless they were invited, had a warrant or had a really good reason. They wouldn't be able to just drive in and look around.
This would depend on how the town's "constitution" or by-laws read. Though the residents own half-way into the street, their bylaws may, and probably do, allow for normal governmental operations such as police patrols, street cleaning and so on. I would assume they pay higher taxes than most and, in essence, are paying for a gated/private type community while maintaining the status and rights of a municipality such as being able to have an actual police force rather than a private security company.
this is not in keeping with a bunch of guys driving around corner-to-corner across the country, eating burgers and taking pictures. Compared to the elegance and beauty of their other innovations it seems messy and, well, twentieth century.
They have a different feature with maps, where people can post photos of the area themselves. These are usually professional, travel-brochure type photos, the difference being that it's user driven. That feature, to my mind, is more in keeping with how Google does things.