Google Earth is one of those applications that fascinates me, though I have to confess I am very much a novice at navigating my way around. You can see maps in all sorts of formats and street views are helpful for looking at places you know and love. Sometimes, of course there is a downside to this. Photographs are taken indiscriminately and may capture people in places they shouldn’t be. It’s all more of the watchful society. People send in photographs of beauty spots and so forth, thus giving a comprehensive view of an area on specific days.
HBTW is far more adept than I am at working out where to go and how to get the best views out of the programme. Previous houses are bookmarked and he even has a tour of places we’ve lived and worked, on the plan. Being a novice myself, I tend to rely on his expertise and say – Show me so-and-so….. Is it the male sense of pride in driving that makes him happy to show off his prowess at getting around?
Well……. he has a new toy to play with, and this one is fascinating. www.marinetraffic.com takes you to a page which shows vessels when they are within radio distance from the shore. This discovery came about because Son #2 works offshore on seismological expeditions. “Dad” is always aware of where the ship is – more or less. It doesn’t work for the middle of the Atlantic, as it is confined to ports and traffic in and around local shipping lanes within radio contact.
If you scroll in to the English Channel there is a vast amount of traffic, and you can even hover over each one to see it’s name and a photograph if you’re interested.
It has to beg the question – what does this do for security? The public are probably only allowed access to these programmes in a very general way. My point is that not only can individual people be tracked – via electronic transactions and CCTV, but that ships can also be traced to more or less where they are.
1984 is well past. In any case typing one’s name into google can bring up a whole load of information. (Don’t tell me you haven’t tried it.) To say that I am worried about loss of privacy is a bit strong; it’s more a vague discomfort.