Google Maps Street View will always blur the faces of people it photographs as the Google car tracks the world. Sometimes, it seems the internet giant gets a little bit carried away in its decision to blur out faces. Google Maps has snapped a photo of a dog sitting beside a kerb and looking out at the camera. However, there’s something slightly unusual about this pooch which eagle-eyed viewers might notice.
The dog’s face has been blurred out by Google in an attempt to protect its identity.
This move is particularly intriguing as normally Google Maps only blurs human faces.
According to Google: “When we create Street View content from 360 video recordings submitted by users, we apply our algorithms to automatically blur faces and license plates.”
So why has Google decided to blur out this hound’s face? Is it a particularly distinctive dog? Is it an animal of importance?
Most likely, however, it is just that Google was simply been over enthusiastic with their identity protection?
This is not the first time this has happened and Google has had to explain its actions.
In a Street View photo from Cambridge, a cow can be seen grazing by the River Cam.
On closer inspection, a viewer can spot that the cow’s face has been blurred out.
When the image was first spotted by internet users it quickly went viral.
One Twitter user posted the image with the caption: “Great to see Google takes cow privacy seriously.”
However, Google also showed a sense of humour when responding to queries about the mysterious cow.
A spokesman for Google told The Telegraph: “We thought you were pulling the udder one when we herd the moos, but it’s clear that our automatic face-blurring technology has been a little overzealous.
“Of course, we don’t begrudge this cow milking its five minutes of fame.”
On another occasion, a person was spotted wearing a giant rabbit costume with a headpiece which completely masked his own face. Nevertheless, Google decided to blur it out.
Sometimes there are real mysteries to Google’s blurring – particularly when it comes to locations.
For instance, far off the coast of Russia in the East Siberian Sea lies Jeanette Island – but Google users cannot see it. The island has been blurred out on Google Maps. All that can be seen is a large black smudge.
The US first laid claim to the land but the Soviet Union later maintained a territorial claim. Administratively it now belongs to the Sakha Republic of the Russian Federation. The conflict over ownership is believed to be the reason behind the blurring.