Wishful Thinking?
March 30, 2007 3:26 AM   Subscribe

Google Maps has restored New Orleans to pre-Katrina The views Google Maps is now providing show the city as it was prior to the storm. It's not clear why.
posted by Kirth Gerson (67 comments total)

 
Modern day revisionism just works without any governments intervening. Group thing, social pressure and most of all capitalism work much more effective.

Remember Google and other digital giants willing complying with the chinese government just to get into the market?
posted by homodigitalis at 3:30 AM on March 30, 2007


Heckuva job Sergey!

Google for President!
posted by chillmost at 3:35 AM on March 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


Maybe it's Google's annual April Fool's joke, a couple of days early.

A terrible, horrible, inhuman joke, granted. But a far more palatable prospect to contemplate than some elitist conspiracy designed to fuck over the poorest and most vulnerable once a-fucking-gain.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:39 AM on March 30, 2007


It's not clear why.

I can tell you that it's almost certainly Hal Jordan Syndrome.

"We're immensely powerful, and these people are suffering. We can change history and undo all of that suffering. Doesn't sitting here and not doing it make us evil? Aren't we not evil?"
posted by Plutor at 3:44 AM on March 30, 2007


Probably some data corruption on the servers holding the current data, so they switched back to the old until they could restore the post-Katrina shots from backup.

Modern day revisionism

Gimme a break. Like anyone's going to forget.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:49 AM on March 30, 2007


Wouldn't a good journalist actually find out why they were changed by asking Google to explain it instead of just asking a few people who don't know the reason and settling for that?
posted by srboisvert at 3:51 AM on March 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


Chikai Ohazama, a Google Inc. product manager for satellite imagery, said the maps now available are the best the company can offer. Numerous factors decide what goes into the databases, "everything from resolution, to quality, to when the actual imagery was acquired."

"the best the company can offer."

It's not a conspiracy, it's incompetence. New Orleans seems to be a magnet for it.
posted by three blind mice at 3:51 AM on March 30, 2007


Also:
Ohazama, the Google product manager, said he "personally" was not asked by city or state officials to change the imagery but he added Google receives many requests from users and governments to update and change its imagery.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:55 AM on March 30, 2007


What about that whole "Do no Evil" shtick again...
posted by From Bklyn at 4:00 AM on March 30, 2007


It's pretty normal for google to do this. I would guess they choose what data to use from a compromise between quality and cost (google has to pay for some of that data you know).
posted by Catfry at 4:04 AM on March 30, 2007


I don't remember them having high-res of New Orleans before, so the excuse of using the best available imagery makes sense. The "controversy" here is the same disengenuousness as the Boston Mooninite hysteria: an unlikely but topical and appealling ulterior motive trumping the rational explanation.
posted by cillit bang at 4:11 AM on March 30, 2007


Here's some learned wisdom every mefite would do well to remember when considering these types of things; When it comes down to either a conspiracy or a fuck-up, 99% of the time it's a fuck-up.
posted by Neale at 4:16 AM on March 30, 2007 [6 favorites]


I don't understand this:

After Katrina, Google's satellite images were in high demand among exiles and hurricane victims anxious to see whether their homes were damaged.

How often are these images updated? The images of my house are several years old.
posted by drinkcoffee at 4:23 AM on March 30, 2007


How often are these images updated? The images of my house are several years old.

Google uploaded an extra image overlay a few days after Katrina. It was pretty crappy quality, as I remember.
posted by cillit bang at 4:27 AM on March 30, 2007



Gimme a break. Like anyone's going to forget.


Someone said that once about the Holocaust.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 4:30 AM on March 30, 2007


Woah, that comment came out a lot more dire than I intended at 7:30 in the morning.

It would have been a lot more charming in person, I assure you.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 4:31 AM on March 30, 2007


What about that whole "Do no Evil" shtick again...

say no evil, hear no evil, see no evil ... so now we've got four monkeys to deal with
posted by pyramid termite at 4:33 AM on March 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Take off that hat, we need the tinfoil.
posted by Optamystic at 4:35 AM on March 30, 2007


This is the lamest tinfoil-hat brigade ever. I've seen tapioca with more functioning brain cells.
posted by substrate at 4:42 AM on March 30, 2007


I don't remember them having high-res of New Orleans before, so the excuse of using the best available imagery makes sense.
I seem to remember seeing pretty good images at that time. On the other hand, I don't quite see the point of having higher resolution images of something that does not match what's there anymore.
posted by Fruny at 4:42 AM on March 30, 2007


Remember Google and other digital giants willing complying with the Chinese government just to get into the market?

Actually Google got a bit of a bad rap on that. Out of all the tech companies in China Google has been the least cooperative. All they do is allow their servers based in China to be filtered by the government. It would be best if they had stood up to the CCP, but compared to companies like Cisco and Yahoo which actively cooperate with the government and provide them technology.
posted by afu at 4:46 AM on March 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


I saw some street vendors on Fifth Avenue the other day selling pictures of the lower Manhattan skyline that showed the Twin Towers still standing.

We need to get to the bottom of this outrageous conspiracy once and for all! We must never forget!
posted by Tommy Gnosis at 5:05 AM on March 30, 2007


I don't know. the street vendors are selling those things as memorials. But Google maps would, presumably, want to be accurate and up to date. It serves as an information source, not a memorial. Seems to me they'd want to be accurate.
posted by etaoin at 5:16 AM on March 30, 2007


Bush uses the Google Maps. Bush said recently everything in New Orleans is great. Google is just doing its part to show the federal response to New Orleans is another of the many success stories of the Bush Administration. This is also proof that New Orleans has fully recovered.

I can't wait to see the updated images of Iraq. Rainbows and lollipops!
posted by birdherder at 5:36 AM on March 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


AFAIK, "updated" pictures of New Orleans were an overlay only. I use GoogleMaps every week, and I'm pretty sure the images I've always used were Pre-Katrina. This seems like a non-issue.

(Four or five days after the storm, when the hi-res photos of the Gulf coast were released, I was so excited to use it, I called my wife's family into the room to see how "cool" GoogleEarth was. My heart sunk as soon as my mother in law said, "But where's our house?" The entire area where her home had been in Waveland, MS was a rubble field. Their camp on the coast was a brown smear. There was nothing left of stores, post offices, police stations. All of their neighbors' homes were gone. And there it was for all of us. In high resolution.)
posted by ColdChef at 5:52 AM on March 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Correction: two days after the storm.
posted by ColdChef at 5:55 AM on March 30, 2007


FWIW, I'm nowhere near N.O.(Chicago), but I noticed that Google's image of my home had been replaced by an older image. A few weeks ago, my driveway was empty; as of yesterday, my old red truck and my ex's car were in the drive. This puts the image's date before July 15 2005.
posted by rhymesinister at 5:59 AM on March 30, 2007


G-Maps seems a little f'd up today anyway. I did a search for Dillon, MT because of this earthquake story and the result didn't have the normal "map/satellite/hybrid" buttons.
posted by desjardins at 6:10 AM on March 30, 2007


The newer (as of a couple months ago) images of my neighborhood are still up, not the older ones.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:17 AM on March 30, 2007


In the parts of New Orleans that weren't heavily damaged, I'm sure people would rather have the best quality maps.
posted by smackfu at 6:24 AM on March 30, 2007


Not to be a dismissive dick, and Kirth the thread, but isn't this fairly ephemeral newsfilter that has nothing to do with the best of the web?

A big "So?"
posted by klangklangston at 6:31 AM on March 30, 2007


They did it to make me cry.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:32 AM on March 30, 2007


I agree: Who cares?
posted by delmoi at 6:37 AM on March 30, 2007


Not to be a dismissive dick

Way too late for that.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:38 AM on March 30, 2007


Well then, fuck it— this is a shitty post.
posted by klangklangston at 6:43 AM on March 30, 2007


Seriously.

Hey everybody, Google farted! Pass it on.
posted by psmealey at 6:53 AM on March 30, 2007


As an aside (I don't really have any wisdom to offer up about the article linked), I think Google would've been better off launching a small array of imaging satellites instead of dropping over $1 billion on lawsuit-bait YouTube. It would be nice to have an NGO provide satellite imagery, and if they launched enough of them we could have many major areas in near real-time.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:21 AM on March 30, 2007


Launching satellites requires cash, while buying companies only requires stock.
posted by smackfu at 7:29 AM on March 30, 2007


Ah, good point.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:32 AM on March 30, 2007


Can I google map myself back to how I looked in my mid-20s? Please? I was a lot hotter than I thought I was...
posted by miss lynnster at 8:23 AM on March 30, 2007


Who is Katrina and, what holocaust? Did I miss something?
posted by a3matrix at 8:49 AM on March 30, 2007


As an aside (I don't really have any wisdom to offer up about the article linked), I think Google would've been better off launching a small array of imaging satellites instead of dropping over $1 billion on lawsuit-bait YouTube. It would be nice to have an NGO provide satellite imagery, and if they launched enough of them we could have many major areas in near real-time.

Because then they would have made so much more money off all the ads on google earth/maps, right?

Come on, how much cash does the maps division bring in rather then, say, their content advertising division? Google isn't spending money to be "cool" they're spending it to make more.
posted by delmoi at 8:54 AM on March 30, 2007


I've never looked up close at the New Orleans area, pre- or post-Katrina. Looking now, I'm utterly creeped out that there were people living and working so far out from the coast, on the strips of islands that branch out from the mainland. They must have been hit so hard. Just zoom out gradually to see how far from the city those places actually are.
posted by Milkman Dan at 9:14 AM on March 30, 2007


I printed a b&w of the google earth map on the Friday before Katrina hit. In the picture, there is a small shed on the back of the property that we tore down in 2002. I will have to compare the two maps.
posted by winks007 at 9:53 AM on March 30, 2007


Yeah, it seems like all they did was remove the temporary images they'd added during the storm.

This news story was only slightly better at investigative journalism than by butt is, and pretty much reinforced stereotypes about the South.

And it was written by Canadians.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:58 AM on March 30, 2007


Nope, that image is way, way old. I'd like to place a small wager that says that image is over 4 years old. If this isn't real time what good is it? I keep waiting on a newer image and still haven't seen one yet.
posted by winks007 at 10:03 AM on March 30, 2007


Is it just me, or has the response time of Google Maps been on the slow side for the past few weeks? It seems back to its usual quick self today - I suspect the reappearance of older satellite pictures in several locations is related to them improving performance.

On a side note, it can be amusing to see the "hybrid" view where the labels and the images are from different times. See, for example, Chicago's Millennium Park, where the hybrid view places a "Millennium Park Bandshell" label on top of an image of a still-under-construction-and-quite-bandshellless Millennium Park.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:07 AM on March 30, 2007


Google is also directing folks to swim across the Atlantic today, too. So maybe they're just getting punchy over there.
posted by Karmakaze at 10:14 AM on March 30, 2007


The other complaint about the news story is that it doesn't mention that GoogleMaps went back to pre-Katrina quite some time ago, as it was mentioned in the HBO documentary on Katrina.

So this is a single-link news story about something neither novel nor interesting.
Way to go, Kirth!
posted by klangklangston at 10:17 AM on March 30, 2007


kk, you have a link for that, or are you making a no-link comment to some hypothetical TV show, just so you can keep on making it about me, instead of the story? In case you didn't notice: A. Several other people found this interesting. B. It's still here, seven hours later, so the mods apparently think it's good enough. C. This is not MetaTalk. You're crapping in a MetaFilter thread.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:37 AM on March 30, 2007


miss lynnster, if that's you with the brunette hair and the 200-watt happy grin, if you were much hotter your 20s than now, the Internet would melt if the pics made it online. Geez Louise...< ?small>
posted by pax digita at 10:40 AM on March 30, 2007




Whoops, didn't close that "small" tag right...
posted by pax digita at 10:41 AM on March 30, 2007


Here's the official page. I don't believe that the documentary is up online. Feel free to rent it.

(You posted a crappy thread. I guess that makes us even.)
posted by klangklangston at 11:00 AM on March 30, 2007


I read the pages you linked to. Google is not mentioned. Feel free to stop wasting my time.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:13 AM on March 30, 2007


Nope, not me. And honestly, it was a joke, although it's definitely true that I don't inspire catcalls from truckers on the freeway like I once did. Which is a giant relief most of the time.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:14 AM on March 30, 2007


It's mentioned in the documentary. Feel free to watch it.
posted by klangklangston at 11:20 AM on March 30, 2007


Civil_Disobedient writes "Gimme a break. Like anyone's going to forget."

Most people already have.

Jeez, kk, did somebody spit in your socks?
posted by brundlefly at 11:26 AM on March 30, 2007


I don't inspire catcalls from truckers on the freeway like I once did

Settle for wolf-whistles from in front of my monitor, then...you look just about fine from here.
posted by pax digita at 11:34 AM on March 30, 2007


Has Google also replaced the World Trade Center in NYC?

No. I checked. They have not.
posted by chuq at 11:47 AM on March 30, 2007


klangklangston, if it is not on the Internet it doesn't exist. Google knows this and for reasons unclear, they have started to slowly delete news stories of Katrina in order to rollback the Internet into a perpetual 1999 state to increase their stock prices. Can't you see? Stupid Americans.
posted by geoff. at 1:04 PM on March 30, 2007


Milkman Dan:

I'm utterly creeped out that there were people living and working so far out from the coast.... Just zoom out gradually to see how far from the city those places actually are.
I zoomed out as you suggested and was intrigued, so I looked up Venice & Pass Tante Phine, the last habitations with names.

The USGS post-Katrina photos of the barrier islands are pretty amazing.

All I could find on Phine is that it's a polluted mess now. All kind of oil industry crap washed all over the delta.
posted by morganw at 2:58 PM on March 30, 2007


did somebody spit in your socks?

Is that like pee in your cornflakes, or raaain on your wedding day?
posted by psmealey at 3:20 PM on March 30, 2007


I fish out of Venice. It pretty much looked like shit before the storm. But yeah, it took a beating.
posted by ColdChef at 7:03 PM on March 30, 2007


isn't it ironic? Dontcha think?
posted by miss lynnster at 9:37 PM on March 30, 2007


CNN has picked up the story.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:16 AM on April 1, 2007


But check the dateline: AP have picked up the story that congressmen are discussing the AP story.
posted by cillit bang at 4:35 AM on April 1, 2007


ColdShef, the fishing is still great in the mouth of the river. I fish from High Ridge Marina(no longer there) in Port Sulphur all the way down to Venice and beyond. Pilot Town is no more either. I con honetsly say, with the drastic reduction in numbers of fishers, we have been killing em'.
posted by winks007 at 1:27 PM on April 1, 2007


« Older In Britain: Upper class, Upper middle class, Middl...  |  The universe... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments