Google Earth Photos Work to Jeopardize Private Property Rights
|By Maine Property Rights News|
|Thursday, 02 April 2009 01:21|
Google's controversial comprehensive and detailed photographs on its Google Earth maps have begun to find their way to downeast Maine. The latest version includes panoramic photos taken from discrete, closely spaced intervals down many of the roads, including all through Lubec and down Rt. 191 in Trescott into Cutler. The age of Orwell is here.
Google's controversial comprehensive and detailed photographs on its Google Earth maps have begun to find their way to downeast Maine. The latest version includes panoramic photos taken from discrete, closely spaced intervals down many of the roads, including all through Lubec and down Rt. 191 in Trescott into Cutler. If you click on a camera icon displayed along the road, an image taken at the location appears; you can then zoom and pan 360 degrees to see everything visible from that location. The closer you are zoomed in on a road, the more camera icons that appear, revealing more closely spaced locations for the photographs. To use the full GoogleEarth surveillance program you have to first download it (free) from http://earth.google.com/ and install it.
I started by looking into the area around our property in S. Lubec and S. Trescott, but also explored the surrounding area. There is a lot of coverage in this surveillance in Lubec, but not much to see yet in the road images along Rt. 191 in S. Trescott except for the few houses right by the road. One of the photos along the road taken on Rt. 191 shows the entrance to the (private) Cove Rd. Other photos are already being added -- especially along the coast -- viewable by clicking icons marked with a white x in a small blue box in the Google Earth display.
So far, two icons appear over the water just off the coast for photographs of the Moose Cove shoreline in Trescott. Those two were submitted by someone calling himself "BigBud", who says his family owns the land the photos were shot from. They can also be seen directly as isolated shots where these photos are maintained for GoogleEarth at http://www.panoramio.com. The two at Moose Cove are at http://www.panoramio.com/photo/6223796 and http://www.panoramio.com/photo/6223769.
I added comments stating that these photos were shot from private property and the area is not a wilderness park.
Other such photos have been added for Trust holdings in South Lubec and at Quoddy Head, and in the village area of Lubec and father west. The photos are all 'scenic' and do not show, even from a distance, that people live and work here. Even the few buildings or boats shown in Lubec appear as empty museum pieces. This is not good when strangers from all over the country explore Google Earth photos of areas they see hyped and promoted for park preservationism.
If you click on the gps coordinates link at a panoramio.com photo pages, a high altitude photo appears showing the location of the photo. That photo can be converted to a map or to a GoogleEarth-plugin dynamic display that permits panning and zooming, but not with the full functionality of the Google Earth program.
The aerial photos publicly displayed for areas like Trescott are, so far, decades out of date and relatively low resolution. The maps do not yet always display the correct street names. The private Cove Rd. in Trescott is not yet shown on this map. Other areas have much more detailed photos and maps, so more is coming.
State agencies maintain detailed maps and detailed aerial photos of everything. The DEP has linked to some of this data at http://www.maine.gov/dep/gis/datamaps/, where you will find Google Earth displaying the latest form of the infamous "bird habitat" and "vernal pool" control overlays. The Lubec coast and inland is heavily overlayed with different types of designations and the inner part of Moose Cove in Trescott is designated as "tidal wading". You can anticipate that high resolution aerial photos will be increasingly used to monitor private property and that those photos will not be so easily available to the public to see what they have.
The Washington County Council on Governments (WCCOG) and Hancock County Planning Commission (HCPC) have also recently announced that they are preparing an "inventory of key scenic and historic views as seen from public places in Downeast coastal towns" -- which includes the entire coast and anything visible from a road or hilltop. They are soliciting "volunteers" to "assess and photograph" targeted sites for a "scenic inventory" that is intended to include private property. They say that the inventory will be used for "tourism promotion, updating local comprehensive plans, preparing grant applications, creating village improvement strategies and developing land protection strategies" -- i.e., land use prohibitions taking over private property deemed to be in what the viros call "the viewshed". They are soliciting "suggestions" of land areas for their staff and "volunteers" to target at http://SurveyMonkey.com/scenic. The web site is run by a Portland, Oregon company for conducting surveys. You can tell them what you think of them helping government agencies target private property for land use prohibitions under the guise of a '"survey" at http://www.surveymonkey.com/HelpCenter/AskQuestion.aspx.
The age of Orwell is here. Learn to use the new technologies to see what the anti-private property organizations are doing and to fight back.