Why Is House Blurred in Google Maps?
Google Maps can show geographic information of any scope, from whole countries down to individual homes. Since Google added the Street View option, now anyone can search for addresses and take a close-up look at homes and buildings. But sometimes houses can show up blurry on Google maps. Why is this?
This article will explain why some houses appear blurred on Google Maps.
Google Maps House Blurred Because of Personal Information
When creating Street View, Google had to think through problems they might face with such detailed photography. To collect images across the nation, they equipped both vehicles and individuals with cameras. One decision Google made was to automatically blur any faces and license plates that were accidentally caught in the photos. In turn, homes can be blurred because the house picture featured a face or license plate that had to be blurred.
Google Maps House Blurred by User Request
Another reason houses are blurry on a Google map is through user choice. Google offers users the option to blur their homes if they’re uncomfortable with their home details being obvious online.
Using the “Report a problem” tool, anyone can request a blur of their car, face, body, or house if desired. In some cases when you see a blurred house, it’s because someone has requested it.
Reasons Individuals Might Blur Their Homes
There are several reasons why someone would request for their home to be blurred on Google Maps.
Famous people are accustomed to strangers prying into their personal lives and invading their privacy. Often, one of the only things celebrities can protect is their home. To try to keep stalkers and paparazzi at bay, celebrities will blur the details surrounding their property. Personal privacy and safety are their main concerns.
Sometimes home photos can contain sensitive information, like camera locations, security system details, or locations of low-lit areas. Individuals particularly concerned with home safety may choose to blur the pictures of their homes on Google Maps for this reason. Also, pictures can indicate the presence of small children, personal possessions, or expensive livestock. In order to protect family and possessions, users may blur their homes.
Occasionally, certain situations call for extra privacy. Individuals in witness protection or those who have gone into hiding have to exercise extra caution when it comes to their living situation. These are exceptional circumstances but clearly call for blurring home details on Google Maps.
Inappropriate or Embarrassing Images on Google Maps
Google attempts to blur any inappropriate or sensitive images captured, but occasionally they miss them, and individuals must request their blurring. Either way, the presence of these images is another reason to blur out a house.
Google Maps Blurred by Accident or Prank
The internet is full of stories of houses blurred by accident or purposeful mischief. This is an increasing problem since the change is permanent. As far as users can tell, Google doesn’t attempt to confirm that people requesting a blur actually have the right to do so. This makes it easy for mistakes to happen, but also for individuals to decide to blur other people’s property.
Google Maps Blurred by a Previous Owner
As previously mentioned, once Google blurs a home, it can’t be unblurred. If you look up your own home or business and find it blurred, and you didn’t request it, it’s possible that the previous owner blurred it previously. Unfortunately, this means your property will remain blurred.
How to See Your Own House on Google Maps
It’s fun to look up your own property and see what others see on Google maps. Here’s how to find your own home or business:
- Open Google Maps.
- Enter in your home address.
- Check to see if your house is visible in 3D or just in street mode.
How to Request to Blur Your Own House or Business
Now that you know it’s possible, what if you want your own home or place of business to be blurred on Google Maps? Remember, this is a permanent change and can’t be undone once Google blurs it. Here’s how it’s done:
- Open Google Maps.
- Enter your home address.
- Click on the three dots in the top right of the map menu.
- Select “Report a Problem.”
- This will direct you to a page that shows the 3D image and gives some options. First, adjust the view of the picture to show what you wish to blur in the red box.
- Then, select the reason you would like to blur the image.
- Options are: A face, My home, My car/a license plate, A different object.
- Fill out the other options as desired.
- Google requires your email address and verification that you are not a robot. Then click “Submit.”
Can Google deny your request?
Yes! Google doesn’t have to honor your request to blur your house, but in most cases they will. If Google denies a request, it’s usually because the home is a multi-family living space and a blur would apply to too many people. If you disagree with Google’s decision, you can contact customer service and see if it gets you anywhere.
How do you request to un-blur your own house or business?
As previously mentioned, Google won’t un-blur an image once it has been blurred. Occasionally, users find their own addresses blurred although they did not request it. Hopefully, Google will have an un-blur option in the future.
Google Maps Houses Blurred
Google Maps is a helpful navigational tool and also a lot of fun to use for exploring. When you encounter a blurred house now, you’ll know why that’s the case. Whether householders have privacy concerns, or just don’t like the idea of having their properties open to scrutiny, there’s usually a legitimate reason why houses are blurry on Google Maps.
Do you use Google Maps regularly? Have you ever had any experience with blurry houses? Tell us in the comments section below.