As a cutesy election day surprise, Google announced the release of their Street View feature for the Google Maps of Washington, DC. For the last year and a half I’ve been waiting for Google Maps to include the city I live in, while at the same time planning my next installment of my geopolitical art project Google Street View IED , the first google bomb for Street View.
In June of 2007, around the time Street View was first released, Washington, DC’s imagery was “updated” with newer aerial photography from 2005. However, the central business district of Washington, DC continues to this day being shown using out-dated imagery from 2002, and the rest of the District is being shown using the newer imagery from September 2005. In the time since this”update”, even after I assisted in exposing this passive censorship in the Washington Post, the imagery has not been updated and because of this the new Street View feature suffers.
In the screen grab above you are being shown the massive parking lot known as City Center which was the site of the former convention center. The old convention center was imploded in December of 2004, which makes a gross mismatch. By using outdated imagery the convention center is still being shown on the Google Map, but the Street View imagery shows a completely different temporal view. The disturbing part of all of this is that the USGS imagery is completely available to anyone in the world to download. It’s already being used by Google Maps for the rest of Washington, DC and I’ve been using in my maps as well.
So, Google, when are you going to update your imagery? If its for security reasons, why release Street View? This provides far more “on the ground” information the aerial views profide. Please tell your content providers that the imagery of Washington, DC deserves an update so you can better serve your customers. Maybe you can use your new satellite?