Google Maps’ ‘Blur’ option – A boon or bane?

Published on April 8, 2018

Google Maps is reportedly being used by over 1 billion individuals each year. Therefore, it doesn’t come across as a surprise that the search giant ends up in legal disputes over it. The legal troubles for Google begin ever since they provided users with the freedom to make use of the blur ‘Street View’ and ‘Satellite View’ images. While this makes the work for other users very convenient. It is not the same deal for the owner of the image. However, the company made an interesting observation recently. According to the information provided by Google, once an image gets blurred on the Google Maps platform, there is no turning back from there. As can be recalled, a Reddit post in the group sometime last year published life tips for users who are dissatisfied with Google’s Street View pictures.

Google Maps

Now, it appears that the users have the option of requesting Google to blur their content if they prefer it that way. There is a good number of reasons why a particular user might want to opt for the option. For example, the Alphabet Inc-led firm has always reportedly blurred the front sides of domestic violence shelters. They do this with the objective of protecting the victims. Keeping the privacy issues aside, the company has inadvertently caught some people in embarrassing situations.

For example, back in 2010, the NYPD made use of Street View images to trail down the drug sales in front of Brooklyn bodega. The very same year, over three percent of Germans voted against Google Maps camera cars being allowed on the street. The protest led Google to abandon the Street View project as a whole in Germany. Even today, major cities like Berlin and Frankfurt don’t feature fully-mapped regions. Moreover, most of the pictures that appear today go on to date back to the year 2010.

Numerous users began noticing the issue with the website have sought to reverse the blurring effect. The search giant’s Product Forums help page is reportedly flooding with complaints from users who state that they want to get their pictures unblurred. One of the saddest posts on the website is that of a user, titled, ‘Unblurred photo of the face in street view.’ User JamesBunting1 asked, “There is a photo of my now deceased father on street view that has his face blurred out. Is there a way to find and purchase a non blurred copy? It would be very comforting to me to see him.” In response, he was providing the answer, “Sorry for your loss. I am afraid there is not, Google does not keep the non-blurred images for long, and they do not provide copies of the images on request.”


For those who wish to find out how to blur images on Google Maps, can directly go to the official website and type in the necessary address. Users are then required to capture a picture of the speech that they have uploaded. On the left-hand side, there will be a “360” symbol. Make sure you choose that. Following which, you will bring to Street View. At the top of the page, the address with three vertical dots will be locating. Make sure you click the dots, and a drop-down will appear. Users will face an option which reads, “Report a problem.”A new page will load labeled, “Report Inappropriate Street view.” Adjust the image so that the thing you want to blur is inside the red box. Fill out the form and check back in a few days to see if the image has been blurring.

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