As you perhaps know, the residence of US Vice President Dick Cheney — the US Naval Observatory — is pixellated in Google Earth/Maps (and Microsoft Virtual Earth), and has been since the application launched. The White House and the Capitol are crystal clear, so why not Cheney’s residence? Is it a conspiracy?
Probably not. This issue was first raised by Maureen Dowd back in 2005 and deemed then to most likely be imagery processed along outdated guidelines. In a similar case, Google upgraded imagery of the White House when the existing view was shown to be doctored. In other words, Google has likely just never gotten round to finding a better un-pixellated view of Cheney’s home — so it would be unfair to blame Cheney for the state of his home in Google Earth, at least without some kind of evidence he’s behind the pixellation.
That doesn’t stop Jon Stewart at the daily Show from doing this, however:
At the very least, it’s more evidence of Google Earth’s grip on mainstream consciousness.