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Google Blocks Google Maps Users From “Visiting” Sacred Australian Site

File this under the “Google Maps, the number one tool to explore the world” category, not in “Google Maps, the navigation app that everybody uses.”

Google has officially banned Google Maps images of Uluru, a sacred indigenous site in Australia that no longer allows visitors since 2019.

But despite people from around the globe no longer allowed to climb the sandstone rock formation physically, everybody could still pay a digital visit to the region, all thanks to Google Maps imagery and virtual walking tours based on images uploaded by the community.

On the other hand, Anangu, the traditional owners of Uluru, haven’t been very pleased with this digital alternative, so Parks Australia, the body in charge of protecting Australia’s natural treasures, has decided to reach out to Google to request the removal of the 360-degree view of the site.

[We have] alerted Google Australia to the user-generated images from the Uluru summit that have been posted on their mapping platform [and] requested that the content be immediately removed in accordance with the wishes of Anangu, Uluru’s traditional owners, and the national park’s Film and Photography Guidelines,” a Park Australia spokesperson was quoted as saying by ABC.

Google has already answered the request and said the content would be removed, including the user-generated images that have been uploaded these past years.

In addition to being the world’s number one navigation apps that many people turn to in order to find the correct directions to a specific destination, Google Maps is also an advanced solution to explore the world and find new places in specific locations.

Google Maps offers not only satellite imagery of most regions across the world, but also street-level imagery that’s powered by either its very own Street View feature, or by content uploaded by users. Street View provides Google users with a 360-degree view generated by advanced cameras installed on cars or bikes or similar hardware carried by staff and contributors.

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