Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Legislator Wants To Limit Info On Maps To Block Terrorists

Citing the Mumbai terrorists’ statement that they used Google Maps as a planning tool, a California legislator (from El Cajon) has introduced a bill which would “not allow online mapping tools from companies like Google Inc. to provide aerial or satellite images of schools, places of worship, government buildings and medical facilities unless they have been blurred.”

Presumably this doesn’t apply only to Google and extends to Microsoft, Yahoo!, MapQuest, Ask and others that offer satellite maps and related imagery. According to a news article the Assemblyman, Joel Anderson, said:

“What my bill does is limit the level of detail [ in Google Earth ]. It doesn’t stop people from getting directions. We don’t need to help bad people map their next target. What is the purpose of showing air ducts and elevator shafts? It does no good.”

Well this topic has ppl buzzing left and right. I wanted to comment on it as this really isn't a political issue as much IMHO and ppl are making it out to be.

Let me start by siding with this legislator. He makes a very good point.

On the flip side these tools are wonderful for both long and short term trips. It makes getting lost a thing of the past especially when you have an iPhone. I have used these online tools to view companies offices when I was looking for fulltime employment in Las Vegas. There is nothing more annoying in a job search then being lied to about a companies size and current situation. By using this tool I was able to quickly eliminate ppl working from their home or companies located in cheapo neighborhoods. Don't get me wrong I am currently working with a company who employs the virtual office strategy but their CEO was upfront about it and presented this as a way to work in a great enviroment, my own home. I have been on many inverviews though when ppl spoke about this large corporation they were working for and how great of a work enviroment it was and then when I get there for the interview it has a back alley entryway and the workspace is dark dreary and my potential co-workers have the expression on their face of save me I'm being held captive! lol Anyways my point is if you have an open mind these online tools can assit you in many areas of your life not just for driving directions.

This debate is far from over and I don't expect it to be anytime soon even if there is another *God Forbid* terrorist attack that can be tracked back to these tools I honestly don't believe they will be instantly turned off or even experience major government restrictions. At this time I do believe that these tool providers do need to step up and be more responsible with their public software offerings.