Big Brother

I was playing around with GlobeXplorer's ImageAtlas site and it was neat to finally see my house added to their database. Since their a private organization with private satellites, their images reach the public domain MUCH faster than those taken by government satellites. Although they've been around for several years, they came to public prominence during the invasion of Iraq when they, through their partnership with Space Imaging, released several ultra-high resolution images of Baghdad and the surrounding
Their shot of our neighborhood isn't bad, but they'll need to do a couple more shots before they're able to offer the kinda of detail that they have on Deanne's parents' house. Stunning. You can clearly make our their cars. You can even see Deanne's old trampoline! inlaws.jpg
The reason why this piqued my interest is that the next issue of Reason magazine will be mailed out to 40,000 subscribers, with 40,000 custom covers, each bearing a satellite photo of the individual subscriber's neighborhood, with the subscriber's house circled. The point? "Everybody, including our magazine, has been harping on the erosion of privacy and the fears of a database nation. It is a totally legit fear. But they make our lives unbelievably easier as well, in terms of commercial transactions, credit, you name it." Interesting times.