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No Google Maps Change to Expose Russian Military Bases, Google Says

Google Maps has become a highly valuable tool for world exploration, not only thanks to the street-level imagery provided via Street View but also thanks to the high-resolution satellite data it offers access to.
Google Maps satellite imagery for Moscow 6 photos
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And earlier this week, an alleged change in the Google Maps satellite imagery caused a lot of buzz online, especially as it’s related to the current war in Ukraine.

An unofficial account that’s believed to be operated by the Ukrainian troops (though unofficial, the account has already been retweeted on several occasions by official Ukrainian accounts) announced earlier this week that Google Maps unblurred images of Russian military bases.

In other words, Google Maps allegedly allowed anyone online to inspect Russia’s military facilities, all thanks to high-resolution satellite imagery that was now publicly available on the Internet.

The announcement went viral, with several other high-profile Ukrainian figures then sharing the news on their own accounts. Some of the tweets also included images of alleged Russian military bases that were believed to be protected on Google Maps before the start of the war.

But according to the Mountain View-based search giant, Google Maps hasn’t actually received any change related to the satellite imagery in Russia. Google clearly explained that it hasn’t implemented any blurring changes in Google Maps regarding its Russian coverage.

In theory, this means that the images available online right now showing Russia’s military facilities have been there before the announcement released by the Ukrainian troops as well.

However, there are users online who claim that some of the images haven’t been available before, though, given Google’s statement, there’s a chance these photos have never been blurred in the first place.

Google typically blurs satellite images of military bases not only in Russia but all over the world, with some data removed on purpose specifically to protect critical information from becoming available online. However, unblurring images is something that almost never happens.


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