Like Duck to Water, thats how I have taken to life :). This blog is the saga of love and adventures of a small duck in a large water body called LIFE....

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Privacy, anyone?

The title of the post may seem kind of hypocritical, since I am flaunting most of my "privacy" in my blog here :-D. But well, I actually do have limits, I share lots of things about myself here, but there are lots other things which I don't really write about. I have a clear distinction about what is private and what can be made public. Thats a line I don't cross and don't intend to cross. But this post is not really about that..

Its about Google. Google has really brought about revolutionary changes in the matter of search and later maps/directions, searching for items for sale (Froogle), Blogging (Blogger), high storage capacity with Gmail and recently Google Videos. I have no complaints about any of these. In fact I'm highly appreciative.

I use google in my daily life so much, its like a virtual encyclopedia to me. Be it recipes, matter for my blog (:-D), day-to-day concerns, Google can find a solution to absolutely anything. I don't use Gmail much, other than to store some data, but I have watched videos on Google Videos, Shopped on Froogle and obviously blogged (a lot!!) on Blogger :-D. The most use we have had is out of Google Maps. All the trips that we have taken here in US, especially road trips, have involved Google maps in the planning. Its so easy to get directions, take print-outs and later follow those to the destinations. Thats how we find Indian restaurants at every place we go :-D.

Recently Google Maps updated their database to include streets, roads and place names of all major cities in India (well, its been 2 months, I am getting to write the post now :-D). Well, the "curious" me just had to see for myself and I really had a nice time exploring Bangalore, especially using the Satellite option. Before I put up any Bangalore photos, first a satellite snap of our house in US.

As you can see "A" hits the spot. This is not really a recent photo, as now there are houses in front of ours.

The next snap is of Bangalore:

I know it looks very shabby, but there's lot of construction work going on in the area (the grey areas are all under constuctiion buildings). "B" is my parents' place and "C" is our new flat which is, as of now, missing us :-D.
The only snap remaining is of Hyderabad:

"D" indicates my in-laws' place :-D. Its so nice to have a software that has information about any place in the world. Its almost as if we are next to each other :).

Here comes the "but". I wonder where it will all lead to. I mean, now its satellite snaps, will it be live satellite coverage in the future? It sounds kind of exciting, I know, but its also a high intrusion of privacy. Reminds me of the movie "Enemy of the State". If something like Google maps is being given to the public, maybe they already have the surveilance technology in National secret agencies! Kinda scary, isn't it? You never know who might be watching you. And its definitely not God ;-).

Its not that I have anything to hide. No, I am not a spy (I'm sure many of you were relieved to hear that ;-) :-D). But somehow the whole thing feels weird. Maybe it won't later when the technology will be available for public. I mean, had anyone told me about 10 years ago that I would write my journal online, where any person in the world would be able to read it, I'd certainly have called them "crazy" :-D. So maybe, people's perceptions of privacy change all the time. If the technology actually becomes available while I'm alive, who knows, I might even have a satellite live on my blog to indicate where I am currently ;-) :-D.


Sachin retorted...

Have you tried, birds eye?

Deeps retorted...

Sachin, I hadn't tried it before and I did now. Its pretty impressive, with its 3-D-ish view. But can't really see much of Bangalore in the map view and there's no bird's eye at all for India I guess :(.

Orchid retorted...

i don't think google India is that new..i remember experimenting with satellite images of Blore last year while I was there..ofcourse I was trying to show my parents our home here.
That said, interesting questions really and like you said...the perceptions of privacy is an ever changing one

And if you didn't get a chance to go to my blog, I just replied to your comment saying I have read that post of yours on your brother Darsh..loved the pictures too :)

Sunita retorted...

Thanks for dropping by!!

As far as privacy & google maps go, it had triggered a huge controversy sometime back over google publishing images of our rashtrapati bhavan including lanes and by-lanes leading to it which is of highly confidential nature.

Earlier, you were paid to reveal details but in the near future you will be paying a price to maintain privacy funnily:).

Deeps retorted...

Orchid, last time I checked, they had very old photos of Bangalore. They have been updated to new ones recently.

Sunita, I remember the Rashtrapathi Bhavan controversy :). Its good that somebody from Indian Government is actually keeping track of some things..

Usha retorted...

Ya I remember that photgraphy used to be banned in all Indian airports because of security reasons. Now what can they do?