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  • 06.17.16

Someone in China is erasing entire buildings from street view images

Wired has an interesting article that looks into the mysterious disappearance of buildings and other structures in Baidu Total View, the Google Street View of China. In 2014 freelance photographer Jonathan Browning noticed that industrial facilities next to rivers had begun to be erased from Total View. He soon discovered the missing landmarks was a phenomenon spread widely across the street view service. As Wired reports:

Browning wonders about the process behind the censorship: “I don’t know who does it, if it’s an algorithm that gets GPS co-ordinates for each place and then somehow wipes it, or if an actual person goes to each one and cleans it with Photoshop.” The lack of consistency makes him suspect a human is responsible. “It would be great to meet these people and see what they think about it. If they wanted to do it, why didn’t they do it properly?”

[Image: Jonathan Browning / Baidu via Wired]MG