Jon Stewart doesn’t know dick about Google Earth

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 This issue was first raised by Maureen Dowd back in 2005 and deemed then to most likely be imagery processed along outdated guidelines.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.

(Via Fantom Planet)

25 thoughts on “Jon Stewart doesn’t know dick about Google Earth”

  1. As Jon Stewart is always quick to point out, he’s doing the FAKE news…it isn’t ‘unfair to blame Cheney for the state of his home in Google Earth’ it’s just funny.

  2. And I’ll bet you any amount of money that had FOX News made the observation Jon did, they would have added that the pixellation was necessary to insure national security, and no one would dare question it.

  3. Jon is funny because so often what he says is all too true. That’s why when he gets it wrong it rings hollow.

  4. No, it didn’t ring hollow, it rang humorous. You’re just quick to defend GE.

  5. I’m not defending GE. I am — however improbably — defending Cheney.

  6. Yeah, it’s probably just a total coincidence that EVERYTHING around it is hi-res.

  7. There are many places in Google Earth where adjacent areas are at different resolutions. They all have rectilinear edges. The pixelated imagery of Cheney’s Bunker neatly follows the curve of the road that encircles it.

    Jon Stewart was correct. There is a lot more truth coming from his “fake” news show than on propaganda outlets like Fox.

  8. Obviouslty it’s censored. But there is no evidence to suggest that Cheney asked for it. And it certainly wasn’t “recently” — this is outdated imagery we’re looking at, processed under outdated rules.

    Google (and you too) could buy uncensored imagery of Observatory Hill, and with very little effort, via Digital Globe’s GlobeXplorer web store.

    In other words, the reason there is still pixellated imagery there is not because the government wants it that way, but because Google hasn’t bought a new picture recently. There is no conspiracy. Really.

  9. You’re criticising Jon Stewart & The Daily Show because they’re broadcasting items that aren’t factual?

    Would you prefer a text stream below the the video that says “Comments heard on this COMEDY program may not be factual”? Or maybe something more specific. “The previous comment may not be factual”

    The things some people find to complain about…

  10. Actually, a lot of people get their news from tDS, or at least oddball editorial commentary based on stories reported there as news. Nobody is under the impression that the color/commentary is not ironic, but it is nearly always based on facts as reported by “serious” media. In this case, rumour was turned into claims that are demonstrably not true. tDS wouldn’t work if it just made stuff up — the underlying assumption is that it is commenting on the state of the world as it really is.

  11. The image IS pixelated and Cheney has a fetish for secrecy, and he is a dick.

  12. Lots of people making excuses for Cheney. Probably paid plants/Fox style propagandists. USGS quads are sold as Quadrangles. There is no logical excuse for the CIRCULAR region at the Naval Observatory to be of a lower resolution than the surrounding area other than by request.

    America is grateful to people like Jon Stewart for pointing out the hypocrisy and deceit of the current administration.

  13. The US government, and many others, maintain the right regulate the resolution of certain regions when they issue their license to fly over their airspace. This is proper IMHO. One use would be to limit visuals of restricted airbases, navy bases, army training grounds, etc.

    However, pixellating a quasi-public facility (limited public tours) is funny IMHO. Then again, I’m not on the security detail that must protect Cheney.

  14. Are you kidding me!!!!

    The blurred area is circular. The road around the house and everything around the house is clear. If the picture was bad quality, the blurring would be a rectangle (pictures are rectangle or squares not circular).

  15. First off, Jon did not say The Dick was behind it. Your explanation that “Google has likely just never gotten round to finding a better un-pixellated view of Cheney’s home” is very weak. Look at the CIRCLE THAT HAS BEEN PIXELATED. Who are you trying to fool??

  16. I can’t believe I’m repeating myself here:

    Yes, the imagery is censored by the government.

    No, it wasn’t Google that censored it.

    No, it didn’t happen recently.

    No, Cheney did not ask for the censorship.

    Yes, Jon did say Cheney recently demanded that the location be censored.

  17. I’m surprised everyone is arguing about pixelization instead of the effin massive estate this man has, bought and paid for, in part, by the blood of American soldiers.

  18. I wonder why the hell it’s pixelated. And no, it isn’t because it’s an old image. Places like NYC and DC have SUPER-high resolution in Google Earth. This one circle being pixelated is CLEARLY censorship. But why?

  19. LMFAO

    ‘Google has likely just never gotten round to finding a better un-pixellated view of Cheney’s home’

    What’s the matter with you!? Did you forget to take you pills when you wrote that… how does someone like you even know how to use a computer or write. Please write for some anti evolution site you’ll find ‘friends’ there.

  20. Camera lenses are round, so the pictures must be round too, so this particular round picture just happens to be an old one, and the camera was designed to focus within the lines of circular roads, and cheney lives on the moon (which is also round by the way!), there are some round islands that google pixelates too, everything is pixelated if you zoom in enough (lust like in real life). Boy, Jon Stewart sure is stupid!

  21. Ok, so everyone that is believing this crap is an idiot. Go to google earth and type in “US Naval Observatory” I just did it 10 seconds ago. Low and Behold! It IS pixellated and if you take 10 seconds to look at it you’ll notice that the Naval Observatory is the ONLY thing pixellated in the area. How odd… a PERFECT cirlce of pixellation surrounding Dick Cheney’s house. The pixellation stops at the exact point where Obsevatory Circle (the street that runs around the perimeter of the NavalObservatory) begins! So hate to tell all you republicans out there, but John Stewart is %100 RIGHT on this one. The photo is definitely doctored. Oh and by the way, did I forget to mention that as part of my college education I was required to take classes in Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and GIS (i.e. map making using aerial images for all you lay people out there)??? So no, I am not some random guy at his computer, I actually do know what I am talking about. I spend a good part of my life looking at aerial images taken from both planes and satellites and anyone who has studied this sort of thing as much as I have will tell you the same thing: This image is doctored!

  22. After listening to Stephen Hayes, the journalist who has a new biography on Cheney,being interviewed on CBC radio’s As It Happens (what a great show) I remembered the pixillated distortion of the VP’s residence on Google Earth. So I checked. Don’t know if this happened at noon on January 20, but the Naval Observatory is not pixillated any more.

  23. It..was blurred. I mean clearly it was blurred.

    And clearly it was unblurred on both Google and Yahoo the same week Cheney left office. Clearly. I don’t get what’s so hard about putting this one together.

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