back to article Google beams disaster tourists into tsunami aftermath

Google spy cars have been out snapping the wreckage from the Japanese tsunami, so everyone can see the damage a big wave can do and how long reconstruction is taking. The dating of images isn't limited to those taken in Japan: every picture in Street View worldwide now has a month and year attached - finally ending the game of …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Andrew Baines Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    More privacy trouble

    You used to be able to report a picture of your house and have it removed - only option now is to blur it. Looking at my street, the only pictures they've updated are those of the houses. The rest of the road still dates back to 2009.

    Spying bastards.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One thing the internet excels at, allowing us to live vicariously!

  3. GeorgeTuk

    Agree with the article

    The local people affected are hardly going to want to see this and everyone else is going to go on just to feel bad.

    Seems utterly pointless and as said just so people can look and feel sad.

  4. unreggi

    Disagree with the article

    "This emotional self flagellation is supposed to make us feel more connected..."

    Ah, Reg. The word you're looking for here is "empathy."

    Just thought I'd provide you some help here as that word doesn't seem to be in your vocabulary. Empathy on my part, I guess.

  5. Antony Furneaux
    Black Helicopters

    You can see the car Google is using in the driveway mirror here:,140.879486&spn=0.00691,0.01031&layer=c&cbll=38.15395,140.879486&panoid=VGUHiYsom3NxPqyDn22u_Q&cbp=12,43.53,,0,-1.11&t=m&z=17&vpsrc=1

  6. Mike Flugennock

    "Memories for the future"?

    "...street-level imagery of the affected areas puts the plight of these communities into perspective and ensures that the memories of the disaster remain relevant and tangible for future generations."?

    Well, if that's their story and they're sticking to it, fine.

    Sounds like just more disaster porn to me.

    1. pj3090

      Speaking from experience...

      As a resident of New Orleans for the last twenty years, I have actually lived through a large-scale disaster and its aftermath (thankfully nowhere near as profound as the tsunami in Japan, but still quite bad). In the aftermath, most people here had an almost obsessive compulsion to make "outsiders" understand what we were going through. This has both emotional and practical aspects.

      I remember taking multiple friends and relatives on aerial "disaster tours" via Google Maps. In fact, at one point Google upgraded the New Orleans satellite photos to higher resolution images that were taken before the storm. This had the unfortunate side-effect of making it look like everything was all better overnight. Local press excoriated Google for the move, and very quickly Google returned to the lower-resolution but more accurate post-Katrina images.

      I suppose it's possible to look at accurate photos of a post-disaster community and see nothing but "disaster porn," but that might say more about the viewer than the image.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's a fine line...

    ...between news reporting and disaster porn, and to be honest, most news corporations are so far into the disaster porn that they can no longer see the line. (and lets face it they have good reason to be: sensation, conjecture and drama attract a far greater audience than simply reporting facts)

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like