Media watch: Google Earth, border guard? Mish-mash-ups

  • MSNBC has a story about how one of the many proposals for securing the Mexican border hunting down illegal immigrants would involve Google Earth:
    For Lockheed Martin Corp., blimps are a big part of the solution. And for Raytheon Co., the key is letting agents watch incidents unfold on Google Earth.

    I for one hope Google doesn’t license its software for this purpose. Borders are arbitrary; people’s aspirations are not. If terror abatement is the goal, then a far better use of the money would be to secure US ports. Feel free to use Google Earth for that. Sorry about the rant.

  • Forbes writes up “the mashup economy”, and of course Google Maps and Earth both feature. Unfortunately, they feature like this:
    In a little over a year, more than 30,000 people have downloaded the code to invent software using Google’s maps. There is no saying how many have built big mashups from the downloads, leveraging the 100 million people that have used Google Earth, the map service from Google itself.

    I really don’t mean to be nitpicky, but if you’re going to put in the details, then the details have to be right: The Google Maps API is not used to write KML for Google Earth. No, Google Earth is not Google Maps. One is round, the other is flat.

3 thoughts on “Media watch: Google Earth, border guard? Mish-mash-ups”

  1. Actually, while we’re being nitpicky, we might want go out on a limb and say that Google Earth is spherical, not “round”.

  2. Groups of immigrants risk their life coming across the desert — of which many die. They often come onto people’s property to get water, which makes people really nervous (though I haven’t heard of any thefts or vandalism yet). But the problem with immigration is not poor Mexicans looking for a better life. It’s drug runners, border gangs, and “coyotes” (human traffickers)… very bad.

    The other big problem is that many pregnant Mexican women come to the US to have their babies so they can be citizens. The hospitals are full of these illegals who go there for deliveries or other treatments who can never pay for the services, so we have to.

    And if it’s really easy to come across that border, a terrorist with a dirty bomb would start there. Reasons enough?

    - Bryan, a southwest Tucson resident

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