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Google Street View Not Welcome in North Oaks, Minnesota

     
4:54 pm on Jun 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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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.

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.

Google Street View Not Welcome in North Oaks, Minnesota [startribune.com]
5:01 pm on June 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Frankly, I'm surprised this hasn't happened sooner. Most of the people I know don't even say their name on their answering machines (like that's some great cloak of secrecy).

I would expect these complaints to become more and more common.

5:52 pm on June 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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My mother-in-law is featured on the street-view of her home on Gmaps. She is doing her gardening in the shot.

Kind of funny... but I can see folks complaining of privacy violations...

6:25 pm on June 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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the Rubbers likes it
6:34 pm on June 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If I was Google I would deny their request. It's not called Google "Pictures in your home". They're taken from the street which everyone has free access to. I hope all 4500 residents aren't that stuckup.
6:41 pm on June 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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They're taken from the street which everyone has free access to...

The article seems to indicate the streets in this town are privately owned and a No Trespassing ordinance is in effect. Google must have showed no respect for private property and violated the law to obtain these pics.

FarmBoy

6:52 pm on June 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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or possibly be cited for violating the city's trespassing ordinance.

Google backed down but if I was Google I'd just pay the citation. It's like Google is putting together a huge jigsaw puzzle and some people are hiding the pieces for what seems to be no good reason.

Does the town have nothing better to do than whine that there are a couple pictures of their house outside?

6:53 pm on June 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If I was Google I would deny their request. It's not called Google "Pictures in your home". They're taken from the street which everyone has free access to. I hope all 4500 residents aren't that stuckup.

Don't be so naive there. Even photographers who capture pictures usually are required to get permission. You can't just walk around and take random shots of people and post them in such a fashion that you will monetize them without the rights or permission thereof.

Google shouldn't be the exception to copyright law or even personal privacy law.

But i guess YOU don't mind everything about you being posted on the net ;)

6:58 pm on June 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Google must have showed no respect for private property and violated the law to obtain these pics.

Google usually does not care for private property, see Youtube. Why should they act differently in this case?

7:08 pm on June 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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You can't just walk around and take random shots of people and post them in such a fashion that you will monetize them without the rights or permission thereof.

If a person didn't want to be in the picture that Google took their face can be smudged or even a black bar could cover them up. But really, it's just a picture taken from the street.

In the future, Google could even warn the city. "Hey, the Google Maps car is coming this week, don't leave trash in your yard". Or, "hide inside your house to avoid being caught on camera". Or even, "cover up your house with a big tarp because people might be able to see what your house looks like from a public point of view."
...

There are people in third world countries dying and starving and here in the U.S. we are complaining about pictures taken from the street. Pictures...taken from the street. :(

[edited by: StoutFiles at 7:08 pm (utc) on June 2, 2008]

7:11 pm on June 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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What a bunch of babies. I suppose they want that community removed from every map as well.

God forbid someone would want to use that information for something useful.

I understand privacy... but what are they worried about here? What "could" happen as a result of G streets being in their neighborhood?

I mean maybe I am the only one with no tinfoil on my head here but what exactly are they worried about?

Should Google be on private property? No... but come on. These people aren't that important that people are using this info for some plan of evil and destruction.

Evil Do'er


Ah, ha... now I have finally gained access to the private community of North Oaks... those Google fools have really messed up now, giving me the access I need.... now I can bring my plan for domination of this community to fruition... beware people, I know what your street looks like.. here I come.

[edited by: Demaestro at 7:14 pm (utc) on June 2, 2008]

7:18 pm on June 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Google should just drop that whole street thingy.
It might have been a cute idea at the time but other then having more pages to show even more ads what's the real benefit of it ?
7:26 pm on June 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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It might have been a cute idea at the time but other then having more pages to show even more ads what's the real benefit of it ?

See "Evil Do'er" above.

7:35 pm on June 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Staffa... it is good for so many things.... like you are moving to another country/state/city and you are looking to buy a house.... wouldn't it be nice to cruise a few streets of a community to see for yourself?

Land developers/investors can really use it.

People planning trips.

People researching neighborhoods for their kids to go to school in... It is so nice to see what is around the area... liquor stores?.. pool halls?... shady looking houses... there are so many good uses.

The question shouldn't be why have it.. it should be.. why not have it? I don't see a reason to not have it.

11:48 pm on June 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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What a publicity gig...
1:08 am on June 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If in fact they are private streets then Google is with out a doubt in the wrong. Private property is private property. It's no different than if they walked right in the front door.

but what are they worried about here? What "could" happen as a result of G streets being in their neighborhood?

Combine that with the satellite imagery and you have a pretty good starting point for anyone that wants to rob your house. I wouldn't doubt many crooks are using it now. I live in small but wealthy neighborhood, everyone except me that is. :P Everyone knows each other and crime is minimal, one of the reasons for that is anyone that doesn't belong here will be noticed. they don't need to case the house and on top of it they can find out whats behind the fence. Pathways, walkways...even where the good hiding places are.

2:39 am on June 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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So because it *could* be used as a tool to case out houses we shouldn't have it?

Is the same robber you described not going to rob a place if he is motivated to do so?

Point to any tool and I will show you how it *could* be used for evil... however not having said tool will not make evil go away, and is not a reason to not have that tool.

I don't want to live somewhere where we don't create things and innovate stuff for fear of misuse.

3:56 am on June 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Pathways, walkways...even where the good hiding places are.

From the street? If the good hiding places are the shrubs by the front door then sure. I would hope for the robbers sake that he knew more about the house than the front door picture given to him by Google Maps.

11:51 am on June 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The key here is the fact that private property was assumed public. If we let that slip, then there is no respect for privacy. Everyone should have the option, or not, for protection of their privacy.

In addtion, anyone should have the right to object, or not, to the appearance in streetview. It's a free choice, and we should respect that choice.

What makes the case special is that it's the first of its kind.

12:17 pm on June 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Second case that I have heard of.
3:59 pm on June 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I agree Demaestro, making things illegal just to protect people from a few unscrupulous people is not a good thing but a limit needs to be set here. The overhead imagery avaiable from Google now is getting close to the limits of what I would find acceptable.

From the street? If the good hiding places are the shrubs by the front door then sure. I would hope for the robbers sake that he knew more about the house than the front door picture given to him by Google Maps.

My comment had more to do with the overhead imagery however in my area a street level view would provide many details about peoples back yards. There's a lot of neighborhoods where that would be the case. In some places you can see clear across to the next block.

Second case that I have heard of.

Yes and the first one they dove up quite a lengthy private road marked as private property and appeared to have images that were take right from the guys driveway.

5:09 pm on June 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Here here, Stout. :-)

Now, if this were the government and it were labeled as part of Homeland Security, they would probably be pulling out their family photo album and willingly offering up their rights . . .

5:40 pm on June 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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but other then having more pages to show even more ads what's the real benefit of it ?

I use it all the time for planning bicycle rides to areas where I have never been before. It's an absolutely fabulous tool to show me ahead of time which streets have bike lanes or sufficient shoulder room for safe biking. It also gives me an indication of how busy the street is, what type of traffic (inattentive soccer moms in SUVs, big rig tractor trailers, lots of cars parked in the bike plane or on the shoulder, etc.) uses the street, and which intersections may be problematic.

For a trip this Friday, I've changed several parts of my original route because I found (what looks to be) safer/quieter routes.

In this case, however, I think Google should remove the images since the streets are considered private property in the city. Presumably, no tresspassing signs were posted, which were ignored by the camera car driver(s). I side with the city this time.

[edited by: LifeinAsia at 5:45 pm (utc) on June 3, 2008]

1:46 am on June 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I live in the Twin Cities. Theres a bunch of really rich folks out there. Probably some of our gov. officials, corporate bigwigs, etc.

I dont believe they own the image of their property from space. Where would that end? Maybe for a big enough donation / government nudge.

9:07 pm on June 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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tegs... I think the way the law works in the USA is that you can take a picture of anything you want as long as you do so from your property or from public property.

For example.. If I can see into your bathroom from the street and I decide to take some pictures of you shaving your chest and post them online then I am within my rights because I was on public property even though you, the subject of my photo, are standing in private property.

So I am guessing that if taken from space then the photos would be allowed.

At any rate I agree that they shouldn't be on private property when taking these photos.. but they shouldn't end the service over privacy concerns. I find it to be a great service.

9:16 pm on June 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I think the way the law works in the USA is that you can take a picture of anything you want as long as you do so from your property or from public property

I think if I built and launched a satellite to take pictures of government bases, they wouldn't be too happy...maybe impressed that I built and launched a satellite though.

9:25 pm on June 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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These residents should just get over it. Many of you asked "What exactly are they worried about?" No one has answered this question - that's because there is nothing to worry about.

The robbers aren't getting anything special by being able to see a picture of a house. It's nothing they couldn't see by walking down the street, private or not. They're robbers, and would tresspass anyhow.

There's no reason for this big fuss.

9:28 pm on June 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I think if I built and launched a satellite to take pictures of government bases, they wouldn't be too happy...maybe impressed that I built and launched a satellite though.

Who's property is outer space? That's where the sattelite is. My opinion: I can see it with a camera, I can take a picture of it.

9:55 pm on June 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Who's property is outer space?

I'm pretty sure nobodys as decided by the world's governments. Space got the same deal as Antarctica.

10:31 pm on June 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The only issue with the military stuff... even from outer space. You could take the pictures but you couldn't publish them or anything as they are protected by some other law something about national security.
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