Google blurs key images of India

Google has agreed to blur some satellite images of India viewable via the Google Earth service.

Citing security worries the Indian government has asked Google to reduce the detail in a selection of images.

The government is drawing up a list of places it considers sensitive, which is expected to include military bases and government buildings.

Many other areas in Google Earth have been blurred or censored at the request of other governments.

The agreement to censor some locations viewable via Google Earth came out of a meeting between science and technology ministers from the Indian government and the search firm.

In a report in the Times of India, the Indian government said that detailed plans of buildings and accurate maps could prove a boon to extremists. India's fears were first aired in 2005 - soon after the service launched.

Other governments have asked Google to remove or blur images. Sites obscured in this way have included nuclear power plants, official buildings and the offices of security services.

This has prompted many people to scour Google's virtual Earth looking for the places where this blurring has occurred.

As its name implies Google Earth is a downloadable program that gives users access to a database of satellite photographs that have been stitched together to form a vast composite image of the planet. Image resolutions vary from 15m to 15cm.

Google has also started annotating parts of some images with 3D representations of important buildings and places.

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