India wants Google Earth maps blurred
Google is in talks with the Indian government over high-resolution images of the country shown on its Google Earth service.
Indian defence officials raised security concerns last year with theinternet search engineabout the satellite imaging program's level of detail at sensitive locations.
A Times of India report on Sunday said Google has agreed to blur or distort the installations instead of blacking them out so as not to draw attention to their locations. However, a report in Monday's issue of Computerworld quotes a spokeswoman for Google India as saying no agreement has yet been reached.
The Times of India said Sunday the government is asking for images of sensitive locations to have a resolution no greater than 25 to 50 metres per pixel. The base resolution of Google Earth is 15 metres per pixel, while some cities in North America have resolutions of less than a metre per pixel.
It's not the first time a government has asked Google to blur images because of security concerns. Australia, Russia, South Korea and Thailand are all reportedly demanding the company blur sensitive images.
Google launched its Google Earth tool in June 2005, combining satellite images from Canada, the United States and Europe with global positioning systems, video-streaming and an intuitive interface.
In September 2005 the company added India, with satellite images of major cities including New Delhi and Mumbai, prompting Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalamto raiseconcerns that terrorists could use the images to plan attacks.