Not Just the Best Navigation App in the World: Google Maps to Help Find Undeclared Pools

One of the many pools in Greece showing up on Google Maps 11 photos
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Google Maps is arguably the best navigation app in the entire world, but on the other hand, it comes with a plethora of capabilities that could come in handy in the most unusual way.
For example, the Greek authorities are now turning to Google Maps not to find which way to go but to actually catch tax evaders across the country.

The local media is reporting that the satellite imagery in Google Maps is going to be used by law enforcement specifically to locate swimming pools and then check if the owner is paying taxes or not.

In other words, the country is trying to spot every single undeclared swimming pool and then recalculate a series of taxes (including what looks to be a luxury living tax that owners of pools would have to pay in the first place).

Needless to say, scanning so much land in Google Maps is going to be quite a challenge, but France has already proved that relying on the satellite imagery offered by the service is actually a very efficient method to catch tax evaders.

Back in 2020, France used a similar approach, analyzing Google Maps data to discover undeclared private pools across the country. And as it turns out, quite a lot of them have been spotted, as over 20,000 pools showed up on Google Maps but not in state documents.

Eventually, the law enforcement issued fines worth no more, no less than 10 million Euros (for our American friends, that’s about $9.6 million at today’s crazy exchange rates).

Greece doesn’t have an ETA as to when the Google Maps scanning should be over, but the local tax authorities are willing to issue big fines and force owners to pay the taxes (the country is also looking into retroactive taxes as well, but a decision in this regard hasn’t been made).
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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