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Monday, April 02, 2007

Google Maps of Katrina Damage: Back to the Future

I read with particular interest a news item that Google Maps has replaced its images of areas hit by Hurricane Katrina with earlier satellite photos taken pre-storm. In two weeks I'm heading down to volunteer with Emergency Communities in Buras, LA, where Katrina first made landfall, and all the reports I've read indicate the damaged areas still have a long way to go before recovery.

I don't know if this is some grand conspiracy, but Google is doing all concerned a disservice if they in anyway convey the misinformation that these areas are back to normal. See an excerpt from an AP story below the following, current Google satellite image of Buras. I'll be giving a full report of what I see down there in a couple weeks.


On Google map, everything's back to normal after Katrina
Satellite imagery of devastated coast as it once was fuels talk of conspiracy
By CAIN BURDEAU
Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — Google's popular map portal has replaced post-Hurricane Katrina satellite imagery with pictures taken before the storm, leaving locals feeling like they're in a time loop and even fueling suspicions of a conspiracy.

Scroll across the city and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and everything is back to normal: Marinas are filled with boats, bridges are intact and parks are filled with healthy trees.

"Come on," said an incredulous Ruston Henry, president of the economic development association in New Orleans' devastated Lower 9th Ward. "Just put in big bold this: 'Google, don't pull the wool over the world's eyes. Let the truth shine.' "

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