Google Earth erases Google Earth oddities 25/40

March 17, 2007 at 9:37 am | Posted in Google | 10 Comments
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I had another favorite Google Earth oddity and now I have to find that it’s gone! I wasn’t able to find the link for some time and have dug it up now, but only to discover that Google Earth itself (i.e. the company) does apparently NOT appreciate the idea of Google Earth oddities – they photoshopped that giant bug belonging to the order of Thrysanoptera (vulgo: Thrips) away that was roaming the fields outside Aalen in Germany! That’s surprisingly anti-Web2.0 from them – erasing the traces of users’ discoveries. I managed to find a screen shot of the location from the time when the bug was still there, labeled ‘Alien bug’:

Google Earth

But if you have look at the site now (link to location on Google maps online, you might want to zoom out a bit), you’ll find that it’s gone. No more. Dead. You can even see where it was, as the new patch of soil they added does not blend in well – different shades of green. Pffff… I hope they are going to give us our bug back some day! Fat cats and their top down rule… if you agree with me that Google earth changes our _perception_ of reality (but of course not reality itself – which is unattainable anyway), then one could argue that this is some kind of censorship. Concealing the bugs of the system to maximize reality effects…. nice. Not.

Google Earth

And who is going to decide which Google earth oddities will be censored and which won’t? Will Eddie Fuck soon be bleeped out? Will brand names in the pictures remain? Who has the right to decide? Even if the bug was not on the field, but just on the scanner, it was still in the picture – why claim all of a sudden that there is a prior reality that is superior? I liked this bug a lot…

P.S. Maybe I should write in French;-) I’ve got another incoming link from a (Swiss) French website, 24 heures, writing about Google Earth – I am cited as politically incorrect blog at the end – thanks to Eddie Fuck, I suppose.

Lent25/40 means that today is the 25th day of Lent, of my no sugar no alcohol no meat Lent diet. I admit I changed the rules slightly – yesterday I had some pure yogurt with artificial sweetener, although I had decided at the beginning that my vow to abstain from sweetness would be complete. But the craving…. I’m drinking tea right now, and I used to have two sugars with each mug I drank in the past. Now, I don’t cheat on that – although I sued to think that the combination of Earl Grey, sugar and milk was the first step on the road to nirvana:-)


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  1. […] insect in the South of Germany – that has been erased from the map. With screen more | digg […]

  2. I want bugs! The reality effects are far more pestiferous. Maybe we can ask Wikipedia to put up an interactive earth where oddities of every sort multiply and flourish.

    Exterminating oddities has got to be deeply alienating work. “Well dear, today I took down something that had been making people chuckle for a little while. I buried it with off-color grass. I’m feeling great. No, really, great.”

  3. It’s really sad, isn’t it? There are a number of jobs out there, in particular in the area of world wide web work, that are actually quite saddening. The oddest task that was ever assigned to me in that area was when I was working for an online dating community as a student. The start page featured the latest members who had signed up, but the marketing manager had decided that most of these people were too ugly to go on the start page. Meaning that a human (no chance that a computer could do that job), in this case: me, had to sift through the newest profiles and decide which were handsome enough to be featured. Thank God that feature was abandoned with the next relaunch.

    Some might suggest that Second Life would a kind of sanctuary like the one you suggested. But then this doesn’t run properly on a Mac, and would probably soon be uncoupled from this worlds phenotypes. Or did you mean a text-based interactive earth? That might be cool, actually:-)

  4. Text-based interactive earth would be cool–but I guess I was thinking of something more akin to Second Life. (Which I didn’t know doesn’t run properly on a Mac, hmmm). Ideally it would be most fun if it resembled Google Earth. I have a weakness for the carnivalesque, and it seems something close to Google Earth has great potential.

    Ouch! Yeah, being the beauty police ranks right up there on the alienation scale. There is a recent scandal here in the states regarding a sorority that kicked out a bunch of members because they were “too ugly.” In turn, the sorority has been kicked off campus. Which is good, I suppose. Americans are big on sentiment, and on beauty. We sympathize with the tear stained sisters who were kicked out because of their appearance (while at the same time I’m sure many watching the news concurred that they weren’t all that attractive). It’s a problem with the way that we process the world through a consumption filter. Other people’s appearances (and their relative worth) become factors in their relative delectation value. Happy.

  5. That’s a neat scandal for the home country of the teen beauty pageant:-) Need to Google that – would sorority and ugly be sufficient as search terms? Will find out.

  6. Did work! Makes you wonder whether that wasn’t an issue of journalism ethics – publishing pictures of those ‘evicted’ inevitably leads to an examination on the part of the viewer: Are these attractive? And the criteria used will of course be the ones that we normally apply to public images of bodies (i.e. of models, not friends)

    Reminds me: Is that side Am I hot or not? still up? I remember playing that with a friend of mine a couple of years ago while both of us were stoned. We used an inverted scale, i.e. gave high points to masculine looking women and feminine looking men and the public vote had always agreed on the opposite of our opinions. We weren’t looking for stereotypes of butches of fairies – a square chin in a woman and a slender frame in a guy was enough to give you low points on the public vote

  7. It lives:

    I like your inverted scale. That’s quite good. Who knows, perhaps a few good reviews meant something to the people who submitted those pictures.

    The Times has had some ethical issues lately, from cheerleading the Iraq War early on to showing sorority sisters so that people can play hot or not, it frequently makes questionable choices. Still, it’s a union paper, something of a rarity here.

    For a non-union paper see the execrable Chicago Tribune, whose racist legacy continues in discussions of, say, the lesser quality of South African soccer player’s hairstyles. I’m still shocked by that article.

  8. […] I hope they are not going to remove this one, considering they removed the lovely giant bug in the South of Germany! […]

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