I was looking up photos of the Alliant Energy PowerHouse on Google's awesome Street View service when I noticed something a bit unusual on the corner of 1st Ave and 3rd Street... A blurred-out object. I was not zoomed in terribly close so, naturally, I zoomed in. What I found was Google had blurred something out on the side of the road. A lewd gesture by a pedestrian? No. A car accident? Nope. So, then what?

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Google blurs Cedar Rapids art

Google has a policy, they will blur people's faces and vehicle license plates. It's easier than tracking everyone down for permission. Sometimes the blurring algorithm gets a bit... wonky. They do it here in Cedar Rapids, and everywhere else in the U.S. too. As a result, sometimes this happens:

Statue on 3rd via Google

You'll notice the sculpture's female face is completely blurred out! The sculpture identified as "Untitled statue" on this blog page, is most certainly blurred. Here, take a closer look:

Blurred out: a closer look. Via Google

With Google's tighter restrictions, art must truly be appreciated up close and personal. If you're a fan of seeing pictures of statues and sculptures rather than going to see it in person, Google's street view is still at least passable, if that statue doesn't have a face. That is where the line is drawn.

You will NOT see a face. So sayeth Google. Unless you find the blur adds to the artistic value, that is. Then you're in luck. Enjoy!

A close up via Google


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