Google has become a company with reach and influence all around the world. It is one of, if the biggest source of information. Google even allows you to see places from your computer through their Google Maps program. A satellite orbits earth and takes images or businesses and residents. You can use Google Earth to see the door step of your house from your computer. It’s a little bit scary. If Google Maps is used by the wrong person they can find and do damage to someone’s home or business. That is why there are some places you cannot see via Google Earth. The following places have been removed from Google Earth because they are highly secured, and extremely private areas, or because the people their didn’t want to be seen by Google’s eye in the sky.
The White House First on the list is the White House. Google Maps images of the White House show a digitally erased version of the roof in order to obscure the air-defense and security assets that are in place. It would be a pretty flawed security plan if the presidents home was able to be seen with just a click of a button. We all can breath easier knowing no one is using Google Maps to spy on our commander and chief.
Dick Cheney’s House Former Vice President Dick Cheney is currently a resident of McLean, Virginia. That is all we know about Cheney’s residence because we can’t see it on Google Maps. The image of the former Vice President’s home is distorted through pixelation on Google Earth and Google Maps at the request of the U.S. government. However, high-resolution photos and aerial surveys of the property are readily available on other web sites.
Soesterberg Air Base Soesterberg was a Royal Netherlands Air Force military airbase established in 1911. For almost 40 years, United States Air Force facilities at Soesterberg, named Camp New Amsterdam was a major U.S. Air Force front line airbase during the Cold War. This Dutch air-force base was closed in December of 2008 due to budget cuts in the Dutch Army, but it still cannot be seen using Google Maps.
PAVE PAWS PAVE Phased Array Warning System or PAVE PAWS is a system of computer and radar equipment that was developed to detect and characterize a sea-launched ballistic missile attacks against the United States. This one is located in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. There are four others that surround the United States and all of them do not show up on Google Maps.
Leeuwarden Air Base Leeuwarden is a Dutch city that is one of the main operating bases of the Royal Netherlands Air Force. It is also part of NATO’s Joint Command Center and one of three Joint Sub-Regional Commands of Allied Forces Northern Europe. Leeuwarden is also one of two regional headquarters of Allied Command Europe, headed by the Supreme Allied Commander of Europe.
NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany The NATO Air Base in Geilenkirchen, Germany is the site of the main operation of NATO’s Airborne Early Warning Control Force’s E-3A Component. This provides an early warning radar system to enhance NATO’s air defense capabilities. The base includes a 17 E-3A aircraft used for air surveillance and air-operations-communications support. Crews from 14 nations, including Spain, Turkey and the U.S., power the aircraft.
The Boring Home It’s ironic that the family living in this house going by the name the Borings. Aaron and Christine Boring of Franklin Park. Pennsylvania claimed that the Google Maps’ Street View feature violated their privacy, devalued their property and caused them mental suffering by posting images of a private road in front of their house. The Borings concluded that the images of their home must have been taken from their long driveway, which is labeled “Private Road.” Google blocked their home from being seen to avoid a lawsuit.
North Oaks, St. Paul, Minnesota If you are looking to move to North Oaks community in St. Paul, Minnesota you might want to go visit in person to see what its like. In late June 2008, the suburb of North Oaks successfully petitioned that street images be removed from Google Maps’ Street View feature. The petition was signed by North Oaks’ 4,500 residents. The argument involved the fact that the town has private roads that are protected by a trespassing ordinance that they claimed that Google violated. Google spokeswoman Elaine Filadelfo said that she didn’t know of any other city in the country that has made a similar request.
Bahrain Bahrain is a small island country in Asia. It is unknown to most due to its small size and remote location. In August 2006, Bahrain’s Ministry of Information instructed the country’s Internet exchange to block access to Google Earth servers. It was said that the ban’s goal was to keep poorer citizens from viewing the elaborate residences and luxuries of the country’s rich, in order to keep the distribution of wealth in Bahrain a secret. Although the country still cannot be seen on Google Maps, cyber activists circulated an email that contained a PDF file with annotated Google Earth screenshots of the supposed Bahrain sites.
Europe Europe is a beautiful continent with many cities and rich history. In order to see the beauty of Europe you would have to go there. In May 2008, the European Union’s data protection agency was against Google Maps’ Street View feature. Officials claimed that the feature may break EU privacy laws if launched in Europe.
Sudan Sudan is a country in Africa that has seen its fair share of trouble. The Google Earth ban in Sudan is reportedly due to U.S. export restrictions and economic-sanctions regulations. A civil war broke out in Sudan causing hundred to thousands of people to be murdered. Over 400 villages in Sudan were destroyed. Knowledge of the ban spread after Google Earth added info about the humanitarian crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region
UMass Lowell Nuclear Research Reactor This one sounds important. The UMass Lowell Nuclear Research Reactor is a site that can not be seen via Google Maps due to the type of work done there. This lab’s primary focus is on reactor physics, operations and modeling. It houses 1 MW pool-type nuclear research reactor that has been operating since 1974. This place could be where a real live Hulk could be made. All the more reason to keep it under the radar.
General Electric World Research Laboratories and General Electric Main Plant A company like General Electric is a house hold name all over the world. What people don’t know is that their research labs and main plant are restricted on Google Maps. According to General Electric’s Web site, the research component boasts more than 3,000 of “the best and brightest researchers spread out at four multi-disciplinary facilities around the world.” The one in Schenectady, NY must have all the new space age gadgets and appliances that are top secret.
HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program)
Conspiracy theorist have been trying to crack the code on this one for some years now. The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program or HAARP for short, studies ionospheric-radio science. The ionosphere is the outer most layer of the earths atmosphere. Those who have a strong distrust for the government believe HAARP is used to control the weather and can be used as a weapon. The fact that you cannot see the HAARP facility on Google Maps makes it a little suspicious.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, better known as MIT, is where some of the brightest mind in the country go to school. It is also the home of the Lincoln Laboratory. Lincoln Laboratory is a federally funded research and development center working to use advanced technology to help solve problems of national security. When it comes to national security, that is top priority.
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