Google Maps Privacy

Google Maps is great when navigating in unfamiliar locations.  Personally, I use it quite often.

Have you looked at the street view option?  If not, it’s really quite fun.  To access the street view, open Google Maps, type in your address in the location box; look for the small yellow person looking icon at the bottom of the screen.  Drag the icon onto the map at your location and you will see your house from the street.

Depending on how close your house is to the street, you may get a good look at your house and property at the time the image was taken.  When I looked at mine there were images from 2007 and 2008 available.  My house sits back from the road and not much was visible except an image of a car I used to have.

Anyone with a computer or smart phone can look at your house from the street view.  If this is concerning to you, for instance if something is visible in the image that you don’t want the world to see, you can request that Google blur out the image of your house.  However, if Google accepts your request and blurs your house, it is PERMANENT.  Even if the satellite image is updated, the blurring will remain in effect. Even if you sell your house, Google will not un-blur your house. If you’re curious, here is how to make the request.

Open Google Maps, type in your address and go to street view.  At the very bottom right in small letters, click on “Report a Problem”  Center your home in the red box and fill out the form requesting your house be blurred.  You’ll need to enter a reason and your email address.  Google may contact you for more information on why and exactly what you think should be blurred. For Bing maps, the process is similar.

If nothing else, check out the street view, you may see your house as it was in 2007!

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