This Twitter Page Is Sharing ‘Weird, Strange, Awesome, Mysterious Places’ People Spotted On Google Earth (62 Pics)

Truth is stranger than fiction, they say. Well, we’re about to find out without stepping foot outside our homes.

Today we set out on a mission not to just explore Earth, but to explore Google Earth, a computer program that renders a 3D representation of Earth based primarily on satellite imagery. You can zoom in to your house or dive in for a 360° perspective of a random street in the world you may never visit in real life.

But Google Earth has gained people’s attention and become a weird adventure of its own accord after users realized there are hundreds, if not thousands, of very weird places captured on there. It has become a destination for mystery and “what on Earth is happening over there?!” kind of reactions.

The “Weird Google Earth” project, which has both a Twitter account and a website, collects the funniest, weirdest, and most mysterious snaps that Google Earth’s and Google Maps’ cars and satellites have witnessed. Trust us, it feels like it doesn’t get weirder than this, until it does.

In order to find out more about how Google Earth works and what aspects of the program we need to be aware of when it comes to our privacy, Bored Panda reached out to Daniel Markuson, a cybersecurity expert at NordVPN.

Markuson explained that Google Earth creates a 3D representation of Earth based primarily on satellite imagery. “The program maps the Earth by overlapping satellite images, Google Street View images, and GIS (geographic information system) data onto a 3D globe, allowing users to see cities and landscapes from various angles.”

However, there are some pretty big privacy concerns when it comes to Google Street View. Markuson explained that “Google Street View cameras are able to capture images and moments that people would like to keep private (such as protesters at an abortion clinic, people in bikinis, or other activities that are wanted to be private, even though they are visible from the public property).”

Also, Google Street cameras take pictures from an elevated position and are able to capture pictures over hedges that are designed to keep territories private.

Markuson said that “even though anyone can request to blur some parts of the picture, and usually the faces and car numbers are blurred automatically, there are still many images of potential break-ins, sunbathers, and individuals entering adult bookstores that could be found online as they were republished so many times.” He added that some examples are available even on reputable news websites like Business Insider or Cne

Moreover, the cybersecurity expert noted that people photographed by Google Street cameras never give their consent for doing that. “And this is a big privacy issue as anybody who wants to remain completely private in the digital world should have the right to do that.”

Google Maps users also want to be aware of the fact that if you enable location tracking on your Google Maps, Google will collect data about your whereabouts under its Location History section. “It is being done across devices where you’re signed in with your Google account. If you’ve been keeping your location tracking on, you can see your own location history map here,” Markuson told us.

“Needless to say that by using Google Maps for planning routes and searching for places, you’re feeding Google with valuable information about your whereabouts which can later be used for targeting you with ads,” the cybersecurity expert added.

Meanwhile, Google Earth privacy issues are mostly connected to its Google Street View feature. “Many people don’t want their homes to be shown there as they see this as a breach of their privacy,” Markuson concluded.

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