As I’ve stated previously, the things that tend to generate the most buzz about Google Earth/Maps have been those of a more pruirient nature – bikini girls in StreetView, or supposedly topless sunbathers in Google Earth. I’ve even been asked to block Google Earth because of bad language in its Panoramio application.
So far I’ve been able to dismiss most of these as isolated incidents. Just like the greater Internet, the potential good outweighs the bad, and you have to learn to sort through it. Despite the one or two bikini babes, these Google environments are a much, much more sheltered environment than the Internet as a whole. Even so, I encountered something that has me in a dilemma as to how to address it.
I was preparing for an upcoming workshop I’m doing on Google Earth in July. As part of that workshop, I plan to discuss geotagging with Flickr. I had turned on the Flickr network layer from Metaltoad and had zoomed into our school district area. I noticed a new cluster of images in one of our neighborhoods, and that’s where I got the shock. The cluster turned out to be images of some woman wearing bits of lingerie in provocative poses.
I have to ask – why??? The images aren’t indecent and would certainly pass Flickr’s filters. There’s much less skin visible than a bikini shot, although the poses are a bit more risque’ than would be appropriate for work or school. I don’t care if someone wants to take boudoir pictures. I don’t even care if they want to post them online. But why geotag them? It makes no sense.
Now, as I conduct this workshop, some of my participants may come across these images. Some of these participants might even be this woman’s neighbors. If I were going to take my clothes off and post pictures to the Internet, I don’t think I’d show folks exactly where I live and where I took the pictures, especially in a community as close knit and conservative as this one.
[tags]Google Earth, Flickr, Metaltoad, nudity[/tags]