Friday, August 14, 2015

google earth

Count me in as someone wowed by sites like Google Earth. I have spent time looking at homes where I have lived from the vantage point of a satellite.  I have gotten a kick out of it nearly every time.

There is a problem, though, that I have noticed.  When I put in my own address on Google Earth, the satellite focuses in on the wrong house.  It is not mine.  It is my neighbor's-- two doors down from mine on the small road on which about a dozen homes sit.

The first time I saw this--a year or so ago--I figured it was an error soon to be rectified. At that time I saw that my actual house--not the one indicated--had a canoe in the backyard and a red honda civic in the driveway.  And indeed, a few years back one would find that canoe in my backyard and red civic in the driveway.

The canoe, for the last three years, has been housed at a dock not far from here and the red civic was sold at about the same time.  I figured that maybe when Google updated the image, they would get the house right.

So, I  checked the other day.  I can't see the civic or the canoe anymore and I can see the new school across the street. Apparently the image has been updated.  However, when you type in my address it is my neighbor's house that is identified as mine.

Not a big deal, I guess, but it makes me wonder how Google Earth [thinks it] knows which house is which house.  And wonder if other sites that "know" things about me are correct.  I discovered one day that when you type in my name at one of the several sites that claim to know everything about everyone including their address, age, and relatives--that there are seven or so Alan Jay Zarembas living in the Boston area.  Then after some more scrutiny I realized that each of these Alan Jay Zarembas were precisely my age and, also, that the addresses for these Zarembas coincided with all the homes I have lived in since I moved to the greater Boston area since 1981.  Not likely that I live in all these domiciles concurrently. As my grandmother would say: "me kennet dantzen mt ayn toochas aft tzvey chasanahs".  {translation:  "you can't dance with one ass at two weddings"}.

So, the sites can get it wrong or, at least, not completely right. I wonder what happens when someone tries to find out about other things about me.  Do I have children, siblings, parents--how much money is my house worth; how much is in my bank account; what are my hobbies; do I like peanut brittle.  How about if they get it wrong when they want to see if I have a criminal record.

I think that new technology is wonderful but wonder if I am fortunate that my name is not John Smith.  Or perhaps John Smith is less vulnerable since criminals would know there was too great a chance of mistaken identity sleuthing out a Smith's background.

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