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Monday, September 08, 2008

Blurred Out: 51 Things You Can't See on Google Maps

Depending on which feature you use, Google Maps offers a satellite view or a street-level view of tons of locations around the world. You can look up landmarks like the Pyramids of Egypt or the Great Wall of China, as well as more personal places, like your ex’s house.

But for all of the places that Google Maps allows you to see, there are plenty of places that are off-limits. Whether it’s due to government restrictions, personal-privacy lawsuits or mistakes, Google Maps has slapped a "Prohibited" sign on the following 51 places.

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.

The U.S. Capitol: The U.S. Capitol has been fuzzy ever since Google Maps launched. Current versions of Google Maps and Google Earth show these sites uncensored, though with old pictures.

Dick Cheney's House: The Vice President's digs at Number One Observatory Circle are obscured through pixelation in Google Earth and Google Maps at the behest 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, in the Netherlands: This Dutch air-force base and former F-15 base for the U.S. Air Force during the Cold War can't be seen via Google Maps.

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