Germany’s staunch resistance to Google Street View is yielding first person maps that might actually be even more fun to look at than regular Street Views. Following the legal backlash which saw the Berlin State Supreme Court dub Street View an illegal invasion of privacy, Google is blurring out 240,000 locations whose owners don’t want them displayed online.
There are several social and political implications about German citizens having uncommon standards for privacy and being slow to adopt (and refreshingly skeptical of) something like Street View, but how about we just gloss over that and enjoy the novelty of this unusual visualization of a locale?
It can be argued that when we see something in a photo blurred out, we’re that much more likely to pay attention to it and attempt to decipher it. The joke Germany is playing on the world here is that there is absolutely nothing to look at behind that blur! There’s no naked lady, illicit substance, or unsanctioned branding. They’re just buildings.
Moreover, by coming up with this novel solution, Google has created an entire nation of visual distortion. If this lasts until the inevitable time when we all move into a Matrix-like world constructed entirely from Google Street Views, then Germany will be one seriously boring place to visit.