Change you can see

By Paul Jay, CBCNews.ca. The official home of the U.S. vice-president is now clearly visible through Google Maps satellite imagery, a development that curiously coincides with the departure of notoriously secretive former U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney.

Google said, however, that the sudden clarity of images of the residence of One Observatory Circle in Washington, DC, is entirely coincidental with new imagery obtained from Digital Globe, a company that provides photographs from commercial satellites, whereas the previous imagery was obtained through the U.S. Geological Survey.

Cheney took grief for his secrecy, as was noted elsewhere, when it was revealed the overhead view of his residence, but the Pentagon and most of the White House, were blurred and pixelated, though again at the time the USGS imagery was blamed for the difference. So now we can cross it off the list of things you can't see on Google.

Some governments, such as India, have asked Google to blur sensitive satellite imagery in their nations so as not to invite terrorist or military attacks, although it has been suggested that doing so only highlights potential targets.

Naturally, Barack Obama boosters have trumpeted the change as yet another sign of a more open Washington, which is probably a stretch. But there can be no doubt, both politically and literally, the news makes for good optics.