Reply to "Google’s photos of Sydney go all fuzzy" – SMH August 13, 2007

http://www.smh.com.au/news/web/googles-photos-of-sydney-go-all-fuzzy/2007/08/13/1186857396182.html?page=fullpage

In the event that Asher Moses searched out the facts, he may have learnt a number of things.

The article justifies it’s technical position with a technical misconstrusion – “satellite views as close as 25m above the ground”. While aerial imagery resolution is generally expressed in terms of metres, this has no direct correlation to an elevation above the surface. Instead, the measurement represents the physical distance represented by each digital pixel on screen. While this isn’t a point that needs to be conveyed to the general public, it could have been represented with a statement along the lines of “but now maps of the CBD are blurry even when zoomed out to 1/12th of their previous level”.

The author may also have noticed that the imagery is provided by DigitalGlobe, TerraMetrics and MapData Sciences (an Australian company). Perhaps the author could have contacted any of these companies prior to pestering security taskforces with superfluous conspiracy theories.

It is disappointing that in this day and age, journalism has dwindled to the extent of monitoring Google Maps for Orwell-inspired stories, backed up by references to Wikipedia and general technical inaccuracy.