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the skyway bridge
google 'street view' and the crisis hotline phones.
updated: 04.03.12

7.17.99: article about the solar powered crisis hotline phones.
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google.com/skyway bridge 'street view': click and drag the little orange guy. a pulsing circle appears under him and viewable item icons appear. place that circle over any of the highlighted areas until the circle turns into a green 'hershey's kiss' and a small preview window pops up. 'drop' the little guy there or on the bridge. explore using the upper left controls in the 'street view' window and your mouse. there are images of the bridge from many angles.
  we take no responsibility for the hours of time you may blow playing with 'street view'. travel the country, visit the family, spy on your ex.
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unclearly, 'google street view' finds issue with something about these signs. what could it be?
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blair stops at the top and takes these pictures:


 
seems 'google street view' considers the message "THERE IS HOPE, MAKE THE CALL",
in english, may be harmful to it's users.
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04.03.12, Blair, It was a very quiet Tuesday night (or Wednesday morning) on Hwy 275 after leaving the fishing pier... and you know I just had to do it... I stopped on the Skyway and took pictures. Awesome being the only one at the top of the massive bridge! Since no cars passed by, nobody to report to your site about the silver midsize sedan stopped at the top as a possible jumper, unless someone viewing the bridge security cameras would tip you off. My apologies the flash isn't so great on my camera, and actually kind of creates a haze where it should be darkness... Anyway, the point of this was to get clear (readable) photos of one of the callbox signs which Google's street view deliberately censors by blurring: all six, even if viewed across the median on the opposite side of the bridge. Google is thorough.
This was achieved with success!
But now I am disgusted with Google. Imagine being so deliberate to censor: "THERE IS HOPE - MAKE THE CALL". How sad / sick is that? Exactly the "look the other way", "pretend it doesn't happen", "STFU about it" attitude you and others (even recently from Australia) mention time and time again. And obviously Google is making their position clear, there is No hope. The instructions 1-4 on how to operate the telephone would be of no concern, so it has to be the main message which is being obscured.
If You feel like it sometime, maybe include some of the blurred photos from Google street view and the readable photo I have sent for site visitors to compare and see for themselves! (thank you for bringing this to us. what would cause google to go through the effort to censoring these signs? to what resolve does this satisfy? google is indeed a mystery on many levels. we have never liked the idea of 'street view'. it's rather creepy to think they drive around taking pictures of every foot of every road they drive, in an effort to publicize people's homes. it does not feel right.)
04.03.12, Blair, When I discovered the Skyway Bridge site, my first thought was to view the bridge with Google street view to see what the new bridge looks like when driving over it, compared with the old bridge (which I had been across many times). That is when I discovered the censored signs, and it made me so curious what could be so bad to have to hide it on the street view, yet this is in clear view to public; for instance if there is a crash and all traffic on the Skway is stopped. Of course I vowed to find the answer during my trip to Florida. To be honest, I expected some kind of graphic showing a person trying to climb (or jump) over the side with a phone number for suicide counseling. And maybe Google would consider some street view users to find such a graphic to be disturbing. But when I actually found the message "THERE IS HOPE, MAKE THE CALL" it was almost like the air was let out of a balloon. I thought after all the effort Google made to conceal the sign, it only ended up being an inspirational message! But as I drove away after taking the pictures, the reality of what Google did made me angry. And like I stated before, the incredible effort to make absolutely sure none of the lower signs are readable, even if you look across the center divider to the opposite side of the bridge, they are blurred! Not one stone was left unturned, because I tried to see if Google missed just one, even from an odd angle or far away so that I could just see what the sign reads... not a chance! (we have advocated graphic signs be installed for some time now. detailed graphic depictions of what happens to the human body upon impact with the water or rocks should be made readily available to people ready to make that choice. maybe seeing their immediate future and the pain it will produce may change some minds. thanks again for these pictures, as well as the other ones you sent.)

other 'google' privacy issues:
51 things you aren't allowed to see on google maps
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