Satellite map images with missing or unclear data
Some locations on free, publicly viewable satellite map services have missing, incomplete, or unclear map data. In some cases, these regions have been intentionally digitally obscured or blurred. Westchester County, New York, for example, has asked Google to blur potential terror targets (such as an amusement park, a beach, and parking lots) from its satellite imagery.
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In some cases, censorship of certain sites has been removed. When Google Maps was launched, images of the White House and United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. were blurred out; current versions of Google Maps and Google Earth show these sites uncensored, but with out-of-date imagery.
Countries in official contact with Google MapsEdit
During talks with the Indian government, Google issued a statement saying "Google has been talking and will continue to talk to the Indian government about any security concerns it may have regarding Google Earth." Google agreed to blur images on request of the Indian government.
The Australian government has decided that images of sensitive areas are not a risk, due to poor level of detail. It was reported that in the lead-up to the APEC forum in Sydney held in September 2007 certain key locations in images of the city's central business district, where APEC leaders were meeting, might have been intentionally reduced in resolution; however, Google has indicated that the change was unrelated to APEC, while the NSW police said that they knew nothing about the change in Google's images. It is known that images of Her Majesty's Australian Prisons are intentionally blurred out. Images of the prime minister's official residence, The Lodge have not been blurred. However, images of its roof have been and the entrance to The Lodge is blurred in Google Street View.
List of map locations with missing or unclear dataEdit
Entire continent is in very low resolution with only small patches of high resolution imagery.
East / South AsiaEdit
|Super Brand Mall, Lujiazui, Shanghai.||A portion of the real Super Brand Mall location (because of the Chinese GPS shift problem) isn't visible. This is only visible in Google Maps.|||
South Korean online map services Daum Maps and Naver Maps, as well as Bing maps, censor a substantial part of their satellite/aerial imagery. Every military used land (US and ROK) is altered to show woodland or mountains. Also the nuclear reactor sites and many airports and possibly other civilian infrastructure. The national mint is pixellated. Google Maps does not have these omissions for South Korea.
|Taichung||Older road data overlays newer science park.|||
|Shamsi Airfield||Unmanned Predators. Images from 2006 were removed. Images from 2007 have runway markings removed.|||
|Garabogazköl||The Garabogazköl Basin is shown pixelated in Fourmilab, in all other mapping services it appears as a normal lagoon.|||
Natural gas purification plants and gas complexes located in Yoloten region of South Turkmenistan are also replaced with desert images.
|Israel||The entire country of Israel is shown pixelated in all mapping services, including Google maps, mapquest, Bing, etc..|||
The entire country of Israel, as well as the Israeli-occupied territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, is shown pixelated in all mapping services. This is a result of the Kyl-Bingaman Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 1997. The amendment is titled "Prohibition on collection and release of detailed satellite imagery relating to Israel" and requires NOAA's Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs agency to regulate the distribution of zoomed images of Israel.
|HWU transmitter||Reduced resolution on most of the image.|||
|Baumettes Prison||The Baumettes Prison is shown in reduced resolution.|||
|Vélizy – Villacoublay Air Base||The Vélizy – Villacoublay Air Base is shown in reduced resolution.|||
|Orange-Caritat Air Base||The Orange-Caritat Air Base is shown in reduced resolution.|||
|Fleury-Mérogis Prison||The Fleury-Mérogis Prison is shown in reduced resolution.|||
|Terminal Méthanier de Montoir||The natural gas refinery is shown in reduced resolution.|||
|Fort du Mont-Verdun||The military fort is shown in reduced resolution.|||
|Istres-Le Tubé Air Base||The Istres-Le Tubé Air Base is shown in reduced resolution.|||
|Fluxel Sas||The Fluxel Sas is shown in reduced resolution.|||
|Ortec Industrie Fos-sur-Mer||The industrial area is shown in reduced resolution.|||
|Old Seaplane base Latécoère||The base's area is shown in reduced resolution.|||
|Marcoule||The Marcoule site of the Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique is shown in reduced resolution.|||
|AREVA La Hague nuclear fuel reprocessing facility||The AREVA La Hague nuclear fuel reprocessing facility is shown in reduced resolution.|||
|ITER Tokamak Complex & Surrounding Facilities||ITER Complex, CEA Cadarache Nuclear Research Center shown in reduced resolution|||
Ile du Ramier, Toulouse (Link), the location of the National Organization for Powder and Explosives (preparation of phosgene for the aerospace industry and other form of explosive gas including Sulfur Mustard). The AZF chemical factory is pixelated, but Google Maps feature links to a detailed photo of the factory. Reims – Champagne Air Base.
|Ingolstadt Manching Airport||No longer blurred on Google Maps. Entire airport blurred out on Bing Maps aerial view.|||
|Andravida Air Base||The base's area appears in low resolution on Google Maps, but a high resolution image is available on Bing Maps Aerial view.|| |
|Private house in Emporio, Santorini, Greece||The private house appears blurred on Google Maps, but a high resolution image is available on Bing Maps Aerial view.|||
|Kephalonia_International_Airport||The airport's image appears pixelated in Google Maps, but a high resolution image is available on Bing Maps Aerial view.|| |
|Portlaoise Maximum Security Prison||An old satellite image from 2005 is superimposed over newer images for the entire area of the prison. The prison houses convicted members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) and other illegal paramilitary and terrorist organisations. The security features include an Irish Army detachment of the Defence Forces armed with assault rifles and anti-aircraft machine guns. An air exclusion zone operates over the entire complex.|||
|Joint Force Command Brunssum||Images smudged on Google maps, images blurred in Bing Maps. Marked as AFCENT on maps. Ok in Yandex maps.|||
|Generaal Majoor de Ruyter van Steveninck Kazerne|||
|Personeelsvereniging Tankwerkplaats||Visible on Bing.|||
|part of Noordwijk aan Zee||Former location of the "Defensie Pijpleiding Organisatie" offices, was not meant to be blurred.|||
|Twente Air Force Base|||
|Prinses Margriet Army Base|||
|Volkel Air Force Base||No longer blurred on Google Maps.|||
|Command and Control Support|||
|Munitiecomplex Veenhuizen||Ammunition depot|||
|Deelen Air Base|||
|Former Underground Hospital||Used to hide from the Nazis.|||
|Military Property Agency||This area appears in low resolution on Google Maps, but a high resolution image is available on Bing Maps Aerial view.|||
|Szefostwo Służby||The weather station appears in low resolution on Google Maps, but a high resolution image is available on Bing Maps Aerial view.|||
|Baza MPO||The industrial area appears in low resolution on Google Maps, but a high resolution image is available on Bing Maps Aerial view.|||
|Ministério da Defesa||Defense Ministry Offices Lisbon. Blurry image shown, but data layers are integrated when looking at previous dates.|||
|Severnaya Zemlya, a large archipelago off the north coast of Russia.||
All of the major islands have obviously been blurred.
|Jeannette Island||The island has been completely blacked out on Google Maps.|||
|Kondyor Massif, a circular mountain range in eastern Siberia.||Images are very low-resolution and low-detail.|||
|Aerial Military Radar, Roses, Girona||Black zone in google maps and completely blurred in Bing. Completely uncensored in Yahoo Maps.|
|Area in Puerta de Hierro, Madrid||Regimiento Estratégico de Transmisiones número 22 (RETES22) "Strategic Signals Regiment number 22" 
Image not consistent with surroundings. Completely blurred in Bing.
|Area in Somosaguas, Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid||Mando de Transmisiones del Ejército "Army Command Signals"
Censored in Bing Bird's Eye view.
|Helipuerto de Cartagena||Cartagena Heliport censored in Google Maps and in 2007 for Google Earth.|||
|Base Militar "Jaime I"||The military base is shown in reduced resolution.|||
|Academia General del Aire||This area is shown in reduced resolution.|||
|Getafe Air Base||The Getafe Air Base is shown in reduced resolution.|||
|Torrejón Air Base||The Torrejón Air Base is shown in reduced resolution.|||
|Mirador El Viso||The observation deck is shown in lower resolution.|||
|El Ejido||Heliport censored in most maps. Visible in Google Earth between June 2005 and March 2007. Visible in Google Maps, pixelated heavily in Bing.|||
|Málaga Airport runway 13/31||The airbase connected to Málaga Airport is censored in most maps, the runway itself is even censored in Bing Maps. Visible as of June 2015 in Google.|||
|Hall High-security prison south of Sodertalje||Hall High-security prison. Link to Bing  Blurred in Bing. Although Visible in Google.|||
|Försvarets Radioanstalt - West of Stockholm near Drottningholm||Facility surrounded partially by woods which is blurred in Bing and Yahoo Maps. Replaced with badly edited overlay of woods in Eniro.se and Hitta.se. Clear in Google Maps.|||
|Högkvarteret (HKV) - Near the port of Stockholm||Headquarters of the Swedish Armed Forces. A square, red brick building.
Censored in Apple's Maps and Bing - Link to Bing.
Clear in Google Maps, Google Earth, Hitta.se and Eniro.se
|Part of the Zeytinköy area (Yeşildere, Gebizli and Doğuyaka districts)||No Street View due to violent drug abuse.|||
All satellite images of Turkey for certain zoom levels are either missing or blurry countrywide on Google Maps. This problem was first discovered in Google Maps for Android app. Then, it turns out the problem is not platform-specific and countrywide. The satellite images are also blurry in the maps.google.com.tr domain since September 2015, but not in the maps.google.com domain. Lots of people are reporting the same issue in Google product forums but the problem still continues and there is not any statement made by Google about the issue. There is no problem in satellite images with Bing Maps, Yandex Maps, Yahoo Maps and Apple's Maps. Also the Google Earth and Google Street Views apps are removed from Turkish Apple Store and Google Play Store.
Maps TimeLine is also not available on Google Maps for Mobile. Just as the satellite view problem, Location History can be seen on "google.com/maps" domain, but not on the mobile phone and "google.com.tr/maps" domain.
|Greenhouse in Pripyat||The greenhouse has been hidden by coloring the area white.|||
|The White House and environs.||Buildings blurred or otherwise censored for various dates in Google Earth. Other years the area lacks any censorship.|||
|The United States Capitol and environs.||Buildings blurred or otherwise censored for various dates in Google Earth. Other years the area lacks any censorship.|||
|Saint Thomas, Saint John, and the British Virgin Islands.||Most satellite imagery of the U.S. Virgin Islands of Saint Thomas and Saint John alongside with all of the British Virgin Islands have been covered by clouds. This only occurs in Google Earth and Google Maps via Satellite mode.|||
|Number One Observatory Circle, official residence of the Vice President of the United States||Buildings blurred for various dates in Google Earth. Other years the area lacks any obfuscation.|||
|Elmira Correctional Facility (maximum security prison), Elmira, New York||Censored for 4 September 2006 in Google Earth.|||
|Auburn Correctional Facility (maximum security prison), Auburn, New York||Shown as censored, however not in all years.|||
|Elmira-Corning Regional Airport, Big Flats, New York||Censored on date 29 April 2006 in Google Earth.|||
|Cornell University Combined Heat and Power Plant in Ithaca, New York||Facility blurred in Google in May 2007, but not on Bing Maps. Uncensored in Google October 2008 onwards.|||
|Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, New Mexico||A site one mile south of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is blurred out on Bing Maps.|||
|Alcoa aluminum smelting plants and adjacent areas in Massena, New York||Facility blurred in Google, but not on Bing Maps.|||
|National Grid's Sandy Pond converter station in Ayer, Massachusetts; southern terminus of the Quebec – New England Transmission||Facility blurred on Bing Maps, but not on Google Maps.|||
|Fort Drum, U.S. Army base and home of the 10th Mountain Division.||The grounds and all buildings are blurred on Google Maps, but not on Bing Maps.|||
|Wooden house at 2207 Seymour Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio||Street view is obscured in Google. Home of Ariel Castro, demolished on 7 August 2013.|||
|Aberdeen Proving Ground||Censored in Bing Maps aerial and "Bird's Eye" oblique views. Lower resolution than surrounding areas, with irregular boundaries.|||
|United States–Mexico border in Hudspeth County, Texas||An approximately 15-mile stretch of the Rio Grande is intentionally distorted in Google Maps.|||
In November 2015, the City of Adelanto, California adopted ordinances that allow for the cultivation of medical marijuana inside of the cities industrial parks 2, 3 and 4. Since this has happened the industrial parks have been covered over in Google Earth and only show up as blank white shapes. The parks are completely covered over. Google Earth also stopped showing parcels of land and APN numbers. Industrial Park 2 is within the borders of Yucca Rd., Raccoon Rd., Koala Rd. and Rancho Rd.
In Google Maps Street View, residences can also be blurred at the owner's request, so there are a number of homes that are blurred in Street View. This may not necessarily apply to Bing or any other street view service.
|Western Campeche Bank.||The Triangulos Chain and Obispo Chain of islands are blacked out in Google Maps. No detailed view in Bing Maps|||
|Base Aérea Militar||The military base is shown in reduced resolution.|||
|Tantauco National Park||Small area of low resolution imagery.|||
- Deshpande, Rajeev (4 February 2007). "Google Earth agrees to blur pix of key Indian sites". The Times of India.[dead link]
- "Westchester 'Blurs' Out Terror Targets On Google". WCBS-TV. 8 May 2008. Archived from the original on 10 May 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
- Johnson, Jenna (22 July 2007). "Google's View of D.C. Melds New and Sharp, Old and Fuzzy". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
- "Google Earth prompts Indian fears". BBC News. 5 February 2007. Archived from the original on 8 March 2008.
- Skatssoon, Judy (8 August 2005). "Lucas Heights image stays on Google". 34.0516520;150.9804300: ABC. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- Moses, Asher (13 February 1989). "Google's photos of Sydney go all fuzzy". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 August 2007.
- Parliament In Brief: ‘No need to blur images’ Archived May 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Shachtman, Noah (19 February 2009). "Google Earth Shows U.S. Drones at Pakistani Base?". Wired.
- "Sitios Censurados De Espa/Ñ/A En Google Earth -Foro España" (in Spanish). Google-Earth.es. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "Edificio invisible en Madrid". Urbanity.es. 5 May 2010. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "Photo of Pozuelo de Alarcón - Antenas del cuartel de transmisiones". Panoramio. 18 February 2007. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "Bing Maps - Driving Directions, Traffic and Road Conditions". Bing.com. 19 June 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "Bing Maps - Driving Directions, Traffic and Road Conditions". Bing.com. 19 June 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "Google Groups". productforums.google.com. Retrieved 2016-03-29.
- Verboden plekken in Nederland A list in Dutch of 54 blurred locations in the Netherlands under the heading "Onherkenbaar"