Dutch Approach to Google Maps Censorship

Extract: Mishka Henner discovered that the government of the Netherlands censored hundreds sites on Google Earth — places like palaces, military sites, NATO storage facilities, and other locations deemed vulnerable — with oddly colorful, amorphous geometric shapes. This technique differs greatly from how other countries censor Google Earth satellite images. In the US, for instance, our government generally blurs the images, and makes it impossible to zoom in to see any detail. The Dutch take a far more aesthetically interesting approach.

“The Dutch method of censorship is notable for its stylistic inventiveness compared to other countries: imposing bold, multi-coloured polygons over sites rather than the subtler and more standard techniques employed elsewhere,” writes Henner in an intro to his Web book. “The result is a landscape occasionally punctuated by sharp aesthetic contrasts between secret sites and the rural and urban environments surrounding them.”


Leave a Reply