US Senator Raises Concerns over Apple’s 3D Maps

Posted on July 3, 2012


The advanced mapping technology used by companies like Apple and Google to create their recently revealed 3D maps has stirred up some controversy in Washington .  A New York Senator has raised concerns over Apple and Google’s “military-grade spy planes” and their powerful 3D mapping techniques.  As a publisher of some of the most detailed geographic maps, this caught our attention here at MarketMAPS.  Today, we look at Senator Charles E. Schumer’s concerns over Apple and Google’s new maps. 


If you’ve seen any of the previews for Apple’s or Google’s new maps, you know that these applications are incredible.  Going beyond traditional satellite view, these new 3D maps allow you to view high resolution images of cities like San Francisco, Chicago , Las Vegas, and more.  Although, some don’t view this advanced technology as a good thing.  U.S. Senator for New York, Charles E. Schumer, is worried the detailed images could be used to aid criminals and terrorists, and he has privacy concerns over the military-grade spy planes Apple uses to capture these images.

Senator Schumer detailed his concerns in a letter to Apple and Google — which use the same “spy planes” to capture their mapping images — earlier this week. A press release was also published on the Senator’s website:

“New Apple and Google plans to use military-grade spy planes to map communities and publish images could cause unprecedented invasion of privacy; technology strong enough to see through windows and even catch sun bathers in back yards.

Reports indicate that Apple and Google are now using planes equipped with military-grade filming technology powerful enough to capture images of objects as small as four inches; companies provide little to no disclosure to communities when mapping occurs and don’t provide opportunities to opt-out of plan.”

To solve some of the issues that he raises, Senator Schumer wants both Apple and Google to provide communities with a notice when they plan to capture their mapping images, and allow them to “opt-out” of having their property pictured. He also suggests blurring out sensitive structures from the maps that are published.

New mapping technology may not always be beneficial.  When privacy is invading, it raises many difficult ethical questions.  Luckily, MarketMAPS doesn’t use spy-planes or invasive methods to provide you with the most accurate maps.  All our mapping data comes from the top providers, ensuring that our maps are created with detail, precision, and visual appeal.  MarketMAPS’s products fill a large range of needs; from classrooms, to homes, to businesses, our maps are appropriate for consumer and business applications.

Contact MarketMAPS today and discover how our accurate, detailed maps can fulfill your needs.

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