Germany is Just One Big Blur

Even our current apartment is blurred out

For many tech-savvy travelers, Google Street View is absolutely indispensable. Finding your way around a new city (or even your own for that matter) is much easier if you can step into Street View and look for signs, entrances, parking places… you name it. It’s also a great tool to scope out a neighborhood. In fact, we always use Street View to check out hotel locations before we book them online.

But when it comes to Germany, Street View is rapidly becoming one big blur. Moving around through German neighborhoods in Street View is like walking around with blinders on. Step into a view of Berlin or Munich or Frankfurt and you are likely to find the sexy 360 views blemished with an unending series of blurred-out squares.

Why you ask?

Simply put, Germans are obsessed with privacy. It’s a MAJOR theme here. When Germans discovered that Google was photographing their streets and putting them online, many insisted on the right to remove their properties from public view. Somehow, the fact that such views were not live didn’t seem to matter. Nor did the potential value of being able to use such views to navigate in new areas. The sheer thought of such accessibility drove (or perhaps I should say drives) Germans crazy.

There’s a restaurant in there somewhere.

This trend also creates a rather difficult situation if one person wants a view to remain visible (maybe for business purposes) while their neighbor wants it to be blurred out. I’m pretty sure the privacy advocate wins here.

So what does all this mean for travelers? It means that using Street View to find that restaurant, hotel, or pub is a lot more challenging in Deutschland. Not to mention there is a strong motivation for businesses to blur out what they don’t want you to see. Β On the plus side, if you just bought a new iPhone 5 and you are bemoaning the loss of your Google Maps App, Germany just might make you feel a little better.

4 responses to “Germany is Just One Big Blur”

  1. This is interesting. I also used street view to get an idea of the terrain of cities I’m visiting. A few years ago, I used it to view the street from Nice’s train station to the hostel I was staying at to see landmarks along the route. This can be helpful if you are arriving in a city as the sunset to get a lay of the land.

    • avatar Tony says:

      Yeah, I think a lot of people think of Google Street View as just a novelty, but it’s a great tool for people who need to check out a neighborhood before they book something. We even use Google maps for finding hiking routes, remote beaches, tons of stuff. Sometimes, we can’t remember the name of a restaurant or gallery when we are writing a post. We can just jump into Street View and walk back to the location and look at the sign on the front of the shop. πŸ™‚

  2. avatar BB says:

    For further devastating revelations about Germany, such as why do men pee sitting down and why is history hung out to dry like linen, visit http://www.isitajoke.de
    More truths on Sallowism, German beers and the capital too.

  3. avatar Dark Penguin says:

    I do like the paving bricks in this screenshot. Yes, the bricks are very nice, indeed. πŸ˜€

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