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Buffalo airport whited-out on Google Maps

Buffalo Niagara International airport blurred on Google Maps satellite view

blog by S.J. Velasquez  • 

Search for the Buffalo Niagara International Airport on Google Maps. There it is. Now switch over to satellite view. What is THAT?

The Buffalo airport is one of a select few worldwide venues that is whited-out on Google Maps, according to a recent Mashable article (thanks to former Buffalo.com intern Humam AlMukhtar for sharing the link).

Among other off-limits structures are the Royal Palace in the Netherlands, Cornell University and North Korea.

“The satellite and aerial imagery in Google Earth and Google Maps is sourced from a wide range of both commercial and public sources,” Google spokesperson Deanna Yick told Mashable. “These third-party providers are required to follow the law of the countries in which they operate, so some of them may blur images and then supply us with those images.”

NFTA representative Doug Hartmayer denied the airport’s involvement in skewing any images on Google Maps, saying, “We did nothing to blur or obliterate anything with regard to images of the airport.”

Hartmayer added that images of the airport are only slightly obscured, and that major runways, buildings and parking ramps are still visible, albeit lighter than other surrounding areas. He also provided the following statement by email:

“Googles acquires their aerial imagery from various councils, data providers
etc. Any adjustments they make to the imagery is afterwards. Most of these
‘smudges’ are artefacts or quality issues like with picture # 2 (Buffalo
Airport) in Stuff’s/Mashable’s article—just an oversaturated photo.
If you are having problems viewing an area on Google Earth, if the image
has cloud cover, oversaturation etc.—use the time slider and go to another
point in time when this area was flown.
Most of the time, councils such as WCC will have better aerial imagery on
their own websites than what Google has with far better resolution and
quality (no building lean, no cloud cover, low shadows etc.)”

TAGGED: airports, buffalo niagara international airport, google maps, mashable, technology

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  1. Sam Scarcello March 21, 2012 @ 3:20pm

    I think the striking similarities between Buffalo and North Korea are the only explanation we need.

    Sam Scarcello's avatar