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Olivia Chow for Mayor

Toronto can do better. This is how.

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Google is Hiding Something

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The neighbourhoods of Alderwood and Long Branch have been almost entirely omitted from Google Street View. The blue lines represent the areas covered by Google Street View.


Contrary to what Google Street View indicates, Browns Line doesn’t have a huge gap in it. Although Google has mapped most of the city in 3D, Street View still has a few dark spots, including almost all of the neighbourhoods of Alderwood and Long Branch, an area east of the Greenwood Subway Yards, and a residential neighbourhood southwest of Finch Avenue East and Warden Avenue. We smell conspiracy, and based on the omitted areas, we can only conclude that Google is covering up some sort of secret government plot involving City Councillor Mark Grimes, outdated factories, subways, and 1960s-style bungalows. God help us all.
To get to the bottom of this mystery, we contacted Tamara Micner, Google Canada’s communications officer. “We try to cover as many public streets as we can in a given area,” explained Micner. “And sometimes certain parts can be omitted just because it’s difficult to get every street—maybe because of weather or traffic or we simply ran out of time. As with satellite imagery, we do plan to refresh Street View coverage and fill in gaps as soon as we can.”
Weather and timing can likely cause problems, but in the case of at least one omission, Google’s outdated map is the culprit. According to Google Maps, Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive, which runs through Colonel Samuel Smith Park, diverges as it passes by Humber College’s Lakeshore Campus. This is incorrect. Although the street used to split in two, it has since been repaved into a single road. Thus, Google Street View doesn’t have any images for the part of the street it thinks is there, but isn’t, and it probably doesn’t know what to do with the images collected from the part of the street that actually exists. Or at least that’s what Google wants us to conclude. Perhaps Humber College’s Lakeshore Campus is part of the cover-up too.

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