June 11th, 2008

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The Google Ghost Car!

I noticed today that all of the Google Maps "Street View" images have had the camera car removed. I thought it was just the particular spot I looked at, but I went back to my house on the map, where I know I could see the car on which the camera was mounted, and it's gone there too -- plus everywhere else I checked at random.

You can see a blurry shape where the car was. They essentially grabbed a bit of road just ahead/behind the car and copy/stretched it over the area where the actual car was visible.

Did they develop a script to do this automatically, or did they actually have employees use Photoshop on every single image?

And why? What was the big deal about being able to see the car, the camera mounts and the cable tubing when you panned the image down? Weird.