[Geowanking] Just superimpose any old layer onto Google Earth
rich.gibson at gmail.com
Wed May 6 09:56:02 PDT 2009
On Sun, May 3, 2009 at 1:04 PM, R E Sieber <resieber at gmail.com> wrote:
> Its basic stance is that its actions are acceptable because they are legal, one that has
> angered burakumin leaders.
> So should we build map products that always force collection of metadata and
> contextual information?
This is a freaky and complicated issue. The concerns of the Burakumin
are real and tragic.
I don't see any grand conspiracy - I assume Google said 'hey,
historical maps, cool' and put them up. As a practical matter I don't
believe in Civil Liberty through Obscurity. The people who
discriminate mostly already know 'who is who,' and will do so
regardless. But it is a real issue and it makes me cry to think of
people harmed because of where they live or the profession of their
And I support Google publishing the data. I have a deep belief that
publishing data is a moral imperative. To roughly quote Ben
Hammersley on opening the BBC's vaults: 'because we can we must.'
But one quote from the article rubbed me the wrong way. the quote
that its 'actions are acceptable because they are legal' is an
abominable moral stance.
Publishing data is a revolutionary act. And so is not publishing
data. The company which is so concerned about random people's public
privacy that it will obscure a horse's face from Street View images,
and intentionally de-rezzes images of 'sensitive' areas in support of
various governments' attempts at Security Theater, does not get to say
'its okay because its legal.'
Legality can not, must not, be the only standard for what is acceptable.
(Note: I do accept that in theory there is data which should not be
published, just not very much.)
More information about the Geowanking