Canadian City Asks Google To Reshoot Street View Shots To Get Rid Of Crime Scene

from the permanent-record dept

We’ve seen all sorts of governments complaining about aspects of Google’s Street View offering, but here’s a first. Reader Joe points out that the city of Windsor, Ontario, has asked Google to come back and reshoot a certain location, because the current images capture a “murder crime scene” with police tape, police car and (apparently) bloody bandages. The city is upset because they feel it reflects poorly on the area and “That’s not Windsor.” They’re also upset because the Google cameras came through during a labor strike that resulted in lots of garbage being seen on the streets. It makes you wonder if towns and cities are going to start to “prepare” for Google Street View cars coming through and make sure that everyone is on their best behavior…

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Comments on “Canadian City Asks Google To Reshoot Street View Shots To Get Rid Of Crime Scene”

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33 Comments
Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“Oh wait, I can imagine that Dark Helmet would jump in and do some absurd things when they come by just to upset his legislatures.”

Sigh, you know me so well. Oddly enough, long before I came to be aware of TechDirt and morphed my consciousness to meld with the Icarus/Daedalus AIs to become the Dark Helmet you know and love, I was caught by Google Streetview walking to work in front of my apartment in Wicker Park (I no longer live in that apartment or neighborhood)

See if you can spot a blurry Dark Helmet at the intersection of Campbell and Wabansia, Chicago 60647….

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Short reddish hair, blue short-sleeved shirt, khaki pants, brown shoes, black shoulder bag?

It’s interesting, if you go to that intersection, it’s a photo taken in winter on a cloudy day. Move away in any direction, and it changes to a sunny summer day. A building was even repainted in-between the photos. I found the suspected Dark Helmet by moving north on Campbell and then looking west. But I don’t know for sure if that’s him.

KGWagner (profile) says:

Windsor's crime rate

Windsor’s crime rate relative to Detroit’s is so low, you could almost say there’s no such thing as crime in that city. Their annual rates are lower than the daily rates for Detroit. For example, in 2007, their annual homicide rate was 1.2 per 100,000 people. So, they’re understandably sensitive about appearing to be similar to the rathole they exist so close to.

You can see some of their stats at http://www.citystats.ca/city/Ontario/Windsor.html if you’re interested.

Peter Blaise Monahon (profile) says:

Great -- this shows they recognize photographer's rights

Great — this shows they recognize photographer’s rights.

Let’s use this a referential precedent next time some bone-headed community tries to claim public photography violates privacy.

Also, we should call for volunteer street-view photography mashups from the Internetting public whenever some locality claims Google street views should stop at their border.

Would they rather have sloppy or organized visitors? And don’t forget the service Google street views does for locals … and their own service providers, such as their own police!

Oh well, good for Windsor to use the Internet, and good for them to care enough to participate rather than try to back out of modern reality.

Vincent Clement says:

Re: Re:

Exactly what law on pre-trial reporting are you talking about?

The article in the link was written by a Windsor Star reporter and the picture in that article – one of the crime scene – was taken by a Windsor Star photographer. That same picture appeared in the Windsor Star the day after the crime happened.

Jake (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I was referring to the Google Street View shot, which I haven’t seen yet. A picture of bloodstained bandages lying in the gutter at the crime scene would have a powerful emotional impact, and might be considered capable of unduly affecting a jury; British law is quite a bit tighter on this subject than the US, but I can’t comment on Canada.

Peter Blaise Monahon (profile) says:

Perhaps Google will augment their metadata

Perhaps Google will augment their metadata to include “temporary” situations observed by their drivers (voice recognition – drive safely!), and even to include comments on street view images, such as “request to update from citymayor@windsor.ca“, and so on.

It makes sense to me to have the Google Street View Camera Truck driver or passenger record metadata on the conditions, especially temporary and under-construction conditions, into the street view image metadata — it can only enhance Google’s reliability if they can immediately put on a map web page “some temporary activities in these scenes may no longer be extant” or whatever.

I’ve already used Google versus Bing satellite views to see the progress of construction or the change from winter to summer in some areas. Comparative possibilities are very informative.

And I hope Google NEVER permanently deletes street view archives. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to set the way back machine to before, say, a bomb went off, or to before reconstruction or renovation, or historically to when you were born? I say KEEP THE DATA!

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