This was bothering me the other day:
Only a few mouse clicks away, a total revision of the recent history of the Big Easy is on offer from Google Inc's popular map portal.Some people interviewed in the article suggest this is a conspiracy:
The company has replaced post-Hurricane Katrina satellite imagery of New Orleans with pictures taken before the storm, leaving locals feeling they are in a time loop.
The virtual Potemkin village is fuelling the imagination of frustrated locals.I don’t know about a conspiracy, but it is inaccurate to have old satellite images of New Orleans. The Lower 9th north of Claiborne doesn’t look like this anymore:
"I think a lot of stuff they're doing right now is smoke and mirrors because tourism is so off," Gerica said. "It might be somebody's weird spin on things looking better."
"Is Google part of the conspiracy?" Henry asked, alluding to widespread feelings among many New Orleans blacks that they are being neglected in the rebuilding.
"Why these images of pre-Katrina? Seems mighty curious."
Or Lakeview. Or Mid-City. Gentilly. Etc.
If Google were to update its satellite pics of New Orleans and the area, it would be a useful tool for residents here and everywhere to follow the rebuilding process. The nation could see how all their billions upon billions upon billions in tax dollars is being spent in this part of the world. Or not spent.
Of course, Google can do whatever they want with their websites. My big issue is the inaccuracy of the images. They might as well put up an artist’s rendering of the way places like Lakeview and the Lower 9th used to look near the breaches.
Then again, rather than a virtual tour, you could always come and see the real thing.