We’ve already heard the news that a recent dataset update for Google Earth replaced images of the Canary Islands by DigitalGlobe from 2005 with images from 2002 (or thereabouts) by Grafcan, a publicly owned local company, after an agreement between Grafcan and Google.
Though several people tipped me off about this story, I wasn’t sure how newsy it was — after all, it’s a big world, and this kind of local hiccup in the data is bound to happen sometimes. I thought the most remarkable thing about this item was that the locals seemed to be quite adamant that Google Earth should have recent imagery — an implicit tribute to the authority Google Earth has gained as geographic refence material.
I also assumed that the Canary Island’s local authorities were keen on having accurate imagery so as to attract tourists. This assumption is questioned by the local greens, however. A new article reports that the green party is accusing the authorities of trying to obfuscate the extent of recent development on the Canary Islands by feeding Google Earth old data via Grafcan. A local local green’s blog post repeats the accusations.
For the record, here are some screenshots sent in:
Before the dataset update:
After the dataset update:
I’m not taking sides:-)