Thursday, March 14, 2013

GPS, Mapping and picture taking

This news reminded me of how absurd it can sometimes be when doing mapping work. I was a couple of years back in Limnos, Greece on a two week holiday.

Mmm, good food

As I've been an OpenStreetMapper since about 2006 I of course wanted to check out the if it had been mapped or not. Only some very rough main roads had been drawn there. This was just a bit after OSM got the nice Yahoo/Bing aerial photos and luckily for me there where quite good aerial photos of Limnos. So mapping I went, from my home and couple of thousand kilometers away. And got it mostly mapped in time for my travels.

Limnos map, looks good or what ? :)

Yeah, whatever I hear you thinking, what does this have anything to do with China ?

Limnos has a heavy army presence, there are many military bases and bunkers all around and a large radar installation. And for example the airport/airfield is a military area (you can even make out the planes/helicopers in the aerial images). And of course you aren't allowed to take any photos anywhere near these places.

No, not a military base (but there is one not far from here). Myrina.

What makes this absurd is that everything is available on the Internet anyway. And if some neighbouring enemy country would like to bomb the hell out of some base, all they need to do is fire up Bing maps or Google maps to find them.3

So why the hell can't a tourist take photos of these places ? Just wondering...

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