I’ve got to hunker down and produce a big post about the controversial Chinese map that purportedly proves that the Chinese discovered the Americas, but in the meantime, here are a few links about satellite images, online maps and advertising.
This AP wire story about satellite images and privacy raises the same privacy concerns that we’ve seen before (see previous entry) — i.e., that we, individually, can be under surveillance, despite the relatively low resolution in most cases (A9 and Virtual Earth’s oblique and aerial imagery might be an exception) and the very real time lag between photo and publication, which in all but the most exceptional cases is months if not years. It does point out that Microsoft “would not rule out” using live imagery in certain cases, but for the most part this is getting very close to an artificially generated controversy. Many people still believe — or expect — that this stuff is coming to them real-time; it’s not hard to spook people out under such circumstances, and I suspect people will try.
Instead of worrying what people will do if they can see their rooftops, some companies are putting ads there in the expectation that they’ll be turn up in the satellite images offered by online mapping services (via Boing Boing). Just be sure you’ve got the same logo and company in a year or two — these things get updated faster than the photography sometimes. (Update: Jason suggests that airline passengers, not computer users, are Target’s target audience — the airport is nearby.)