updated 10:00 am EDT, Wed June 1, 2011
Company pushed Google to conceal NC facility?
Crews have already begun putting up WWDC decorations at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, photos show. A team began applying company logos to the building's exterior yesterday, in keeping with normal Apple plans. Moscone staff are also likely raising banners and setting up other material inside, but these were not immediately visible. WWDC 2011 is only set to begin on Monday, June 6th, leading off with a Steve Jobs keynote.
Apple's North Carolina datacenter has meanwhile become visible on Google Maps and Google Earth. The building is located at 6081 Startown Road in Maiden, roughly an hour's drive from Charlotte. For the longest time the facility didn't appear in Google satellite imagery, even though the it has been under construction for many months and was captured on camera by a photographer, a real estate agent and a TV station.
The sudden visibility of the datacenter -- roughly coinciding with the iCloud announcement on Tuesday -- suggests that Apple may have asked Google to prevent local satellite data from being updated. As recently as two weeks ago, images are said to have shown nothing but woods, farmland and a driveway in place of the facility. Censorship on Google Maps is not unprecendented; the house of former Vice President Dick Cheney, for instance, was blurred on multiple mapping services.