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Blurred houses on Google Maps? Here's what you need to know
Google Maps is an incredibly popular app that makes navigation, planning road trips, and finding places an absolute breeze. The app goes beyond just a 2D map view, with features like Street View showing you exactly where you need to go. You can also use it to check out the sights of popular local or international attractions with a click of a button. However, you might notice that Google has blurred some houses on Street View. No, you aren’t having network connectivity issues. Instead, it’s likely that whoever lives there asked Google to do so because of privacy concerns. If you want to do the same, here’s how to blur your house on Google Maps.
To blur your house on Google Maps, go to the website (you can't use the Google Maps mobile app) and enter your address in the search bar. Use the Street View icon to open it, and click Report a problem at the bottom right corner. Use the image preview tool to center your house and select My home in the Request blurring section.
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Why are some houses blurred out on Google Maps?
You may have seen a Google car with a massive camera on top taking photos for the Street View app. The service launched back in 2007, and since then, you can use Street View to check out various sights in more than 83 countries, with Google using around 220 billion images to create a 360-degree view of different locations. Apart from making finding places easier by providing a look at exactly where you need to go, there are plenty of interesting things to see on Street View. Some have even gone out of their way to ensure they appear in the shot when the Google car rolls by.
However, not everyone is happy about Street View, with many privacy advocates raising concerns about using the technology. Google automatically blurs out people’s faces and car license plates on Google Maps. But there is plenty of information someone can gauge from looking at specific images, like private residences.
Street View on residential streets can provide a surprisingly in-depth look at the neighborhood and individual houses. This includes everything from which car you have in the driveway, potential entry points, where delivery drivers leave packages, and even how many people live in a particular household. Google says that Street View only shows people what they would see from publicly-accessible roads. But the option to get “research” done on a computer or phone isn’t something people want to give stalkers, burglars, and other malicious actors.
Luckily, you can do something about it. Google lets you send a request to blur your house on Google Maps and Street View. While people can still look at your neighborhood and gain information, they won’t get a direct, detailed view of your home and everything you have outside. If your privacy is important, you may want to blur your house on Google Maps.
How to blur your house on Google Maps
Blurring your house on Google Maps is a relatively simple process. But you can only do so on a computer, not the Google Maps app.
Go to the Google Maps website and enter your home address in the search bar at the top right corner. If a picture of your house appears, click on it to enter Street View. If not, click on the small Street View icon (a person icon) at the bottom right corner and drag it to your street.
Focus the “camera” view on your house and click Report a problem at the bottom right corner. Ensure that the address that shows up on the report page is accurate. If not, go back and try to center the street view angle again. Then use the image preview box to include everything you want to blur. Under the Why are you reporting this image section, select My home next to Request blurring.
Add as much information as possible about what you want to blur to let Google identify the right home. Then enter your email address, complete the reCaptcha verification, and click Submit at the bottom of the page. If Google approves your request, your house will be blurred on Google Maps in a few days.
While Google automatically blurs license plates, you can blur your entire car on Google Maps. Find your vehicle on Street View, click on Report a problem at the bottom right corner, and select Car/license plate in the Request blurring section.
Yes, you can blur yourself on Google Maps. You can request additional blurring for your face or hide your entire body. Click on Report a problem in Street View, select A different object in the Request blurring section, and enter the necessary information.
No, you cannot unblur a house on Google Maps. Google says that any accepted blurring request is permanent.