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Apple's request to conduct 3D mapping of Oslo denied by Norwegian government

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
A request by Apple to photograph Oslo from the air was rebuffed by the Norwegian government, prompting the U.S. embassy to offer support for the initiative meant to broaden Flyover coverage in the Maps app.

Oslo
Map of Oslo as rendered in iOS Maps.


Apple recently applied for a license to photograph Norway's capital city, but the country's National Security Authority rejected the request because it would not have control over the possibly sensitive data, reports Aftenposten.

Acting director of the NSA ?yvind Mandt told the publication on Monday that Apple's application was denied due to the high precision of the Flyover feature, which maps photographic images over 3D renderings. Such photos can inadvertently reveal secure government installations and classified "sensitive areas."

The issue has reportedly drawn the attention of the U.S. embassy, which contacted Oslo Mayor Fabian Stang for assistance. Stang subsequently asked Defense Minister Anne-Grete Str?m-Erichsen to reconsider Apple's application, saying the company has already received permits to conduct identical operations in "all Western capitals."

Apple's in-house mapping service usually handles matters of government security by replacing renderings of sensitive areas with low-resolution assets. Such is the case with the White House and other secure U.S. facilities.
post #2 of 49

Their loss.

BTW, they did they also deny Google the ability to drive their streets photographing everything in site for Street View?

post #3 of 49
I am so not surprised. Too bad as it would be nice to have the feature for Oslo as it is a beautiful city. They probably would have approved before the bombing though.
post #4 of 49
Quote:
Acting director of the NSA Øyvind Mandt told the publication on Monday that Apple's application was denied due to the high precision of the Flyover feature, which maps photographic images over 3D renderings. Such photos can inadvertently reveal secure government installations and classified "sensitive areas."

Well we certainly wouldn't want the NSA feeling like someone was invading their privacy.
post #5 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Their loss.
BTW, they did they also deny Google the ability to drive their streets photographing everything in site for Street View?

No, street view is supported, but google doesn't have to get approval for the flyover. They just drive down public streets.
post #6 of 49
Why not allow the Norwegian government to preview and block out sensitive locales? Maps could fall back to satellite resolution images for those sections. It's not like Dick Cheney's home isn't also pixelated in Google Maps.

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post #7 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Their loss.

BTW, they did they also deny Google the ability to drive their streets photographing everything in site for Street View?

 

Nope.  Check for yourself, Google has Street View for basically the entire city.

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post #8 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Why not allow the Norwegian government to preview and block out sensitive locales? Maps could fall back to satellite resolution images for those sections. It's not like Dick Cheney's home isn't also pixelated in Google Maps.

Or hire Japanese pornographers, they're pros at pixelating the good stuff.
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post #9 of 49
Jut put in fake buildings for the secret spots. Bunch of Elby's Big Boys or something.

As for the US asking other countries to stop worrying about secret facilities, THAT is amusing!
post #10 of 49
I think, if the situations were reversed with Apple being a Norwegian company wanting too flyover and photograph Washington, that the US govt would react in a similar way.
post #11 of 49

Norwegians have sensitive spots too ..


Edited by TeeJay2012 - 8/12/13 at 3:48pm
post #12 of 49

Originally Posted by TeeJay2012 View Post
Norwegians have sensitive spots too ..

 

One mention of ABBA and they collapse like a leaf.

post #13 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Why not allow the Norwegian government to preview and block out sensitive locales? Maps could fall back to satellite resolution images for those sections. It's not like Dick Cheney's home isn't also pixelated in Google Maps.

 

The trouble is, blocking out sensitive locations would let everyone know where they are  :)

 

One possible compromise might be to agree on a much lower resolution.

post #14 of 49

Norway is going the way of iOS 7... FLAT! lol.gif

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post #15 of 49
You can't spell Norwegian without the letters NO...

(Thanks, C!)
Edited by GTR - 8/12/13 at 10:49pm
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post #16 of 49
Everyone's gone paranoid.
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post #17 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Jut put in fake buildings for the secret spots. Bunch of Elby's Big Boys or something.

As for the US asking other countries to stop worrying about secret facilities, THAT is amusing!

 

 

Maybe in Norway... NSA is Norwegian Security Agency....

post #18 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Everyone's gone paranoid.
Certainly looks like the war on terror is a lost battle.
post #19 of 49

I wish Apple would stop wasting time on Flyover and just fix all the serious problems with Maps (not to mention the problems with iPhoto).

post #20 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Their loss.

BTW, they did they also deny Google the ability to drive their streets photographing everything in site for Street View?

They can only do public streets... Gates, walls - already limit what they can see.

post #21 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post


No, street view is supported, but google doesn't have to get approval for the flyover. They just drive down public streets.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

 

Nope.  Check for yourself, Google has Street View for basically the entire city.

Seriously... Why wouldn't they mention this in the article? This is the main question of the whole issue.

post #22 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Nope.  Check for yourself, Google has Street View for basically the entire city.

I guess the Norwegians feel Apple's Fly Over would be far more accurate then.

Seriously though, this is typical knee jerk reaction. I am pretty sure anyone wanting to set off a device in any city isn't going to call it off because they can't use their iPhone to select the spot to place it. The same logic would have refused map makers permission to map it in 2D back in the day.

Some one, who I won't name, with the brains of a donkey, suggested on this blog allowing Apple to use lower resolution. Yeah, great idea, they could print fuzzy out of focus 2D maps while they are at it. Then they'd be really safe!
Edited by digitalclips - 8/12/13 at 5:23pm
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post #23 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Everyone's gone paranoid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Certainly looks like the war on terror is a lost battle.

Yep, this sort of thing just hands them a victory. BTW ... Please can we return to saying 'terrorism', it became 'terror' the same time 'nuclear' became 'nucular' and for the same reason.
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post #24 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Or hire Japanese pornographers, they're pros at pixelating the good stuff.
Uh...citation?

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post #25 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by diplication View Post

Uh...citation?

Too many to list lol.gif
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post #26 of 49

The truth is that Norway probably didn't want it revealed that they didn't actually have any top secret sensitive and very important high security areas.

post #27 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogJack View Post

The truth is that Norway probably didn't want it revealed that they didn't actually have any top secret sensitive and very important high security areas.

Isn't Norway perpetually snow covered or close to it?
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post #28 of 49
Yet streetview was allowed, which gets much more intimate footage? Ridiculous.
post #29 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Yet streetview was allowed, which gets much more intimate footage? Ridiculous.

You think Google asked for permission?
post #30 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

You think Google asked for permission?

Why would they need permission to photograph anything you and I could see driving down a street in Oslo? Anything that the general public can see is public domain.
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post #31 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

No, street view is supported, but google doesn't have to get approval for the flyover. They just drive down public streets.
Street view seems to get more in it than flyover however it is still data problems
post #32 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

The trouble is, blocking out sensitive locations would let everyone know where they are  1smile.gif


One possible compromise might be to agree on a much lower resolution.

If it is hiding in plain sight (say, a sensitive location that is disguised as a nondescript feature), then it is already hidden and there's no need to call attention to it. OTOH, if it is a known sensitive location, then pixelating it acknowledges that it is sensitive, but does not give away its secrets. I don't see a problem either way.

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post #33 of 49
Woo! Missed being post #31 this time.

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post #34 of 49
What Apple pixelates is irrelevant since the NSA/CIA can grab the unedited data from Apple. Of course they probably already flew their spy planes all over that city without first asking.
Besides, what they are saying: look for pixelated stuff, and then you know where the important targets are? Nice giveaway. If they left things detailed it would be like trying to find a needle in a haystack, now it's like finding fluorescent flags in a haystack...
A little fractal analysis on the image data and all sensitive locations can be auto-highlited.
Don't think suicide bombers are interested in building details all that much...
post #35 of 49
Wasn't Oslo one of the original showcases for the C3 rendering technology?

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post #36 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalle View Post

Wasn't Oslo one of the original showcases for the C3 rendering technology?

Bingo. And that part is covered by the same article topic over at 9to5
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post #37 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post


No, street view is supported, but google doesn't have to get approval for the flyover. They just drive down public streets.

Only as long as the camera is as high as a person is tall. In Germany there is only Street View in the large cities, the rest of the country doesn't have SV:

http://techland.time.com/2011/04/11/alas-there-will-be-no-more-google-street-view-in-germany/
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post #38 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

You can't be Norwegian without the letters NO...

Nor should you be able to ¡
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post #39 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Isn't Norway perpetually snow covered or close to it?

Norway is a big country (Oslo is nearer to Rome than it is to the most northernly tip of the mainland). There's parts where snow hardly ever settles and there's parts where there's almost always snow on the ground.
post #40 of 49
I guess that Stockholm, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Berlin, Copenhagen, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, New York City (including WTC site), Silicon Valley (NASA Ames), Pasadena (Cal Tech), La Canada (JPL) et al -- are not concerned about terrorism -- or have resolved the issues.

It seems odd that one can take a 3D Flyover tour of the Eiffel Tower -- but not the Washington Monument... Or the London House Of Parliament and Downing Street -- but not US Senate/House and the White House...

It appears that some governments are more concerned with their own safety than that of their constituents.
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