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Apple preps Moscone for WWDC, takes wraps off datacenter

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. ebeyer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Open source maps

    Will there be a day, do you suppose, where Google maps can be enhanced with crowdsourced images, hosted on a non-google-controlled server? I don't like the idea of my maps being censored by a large company, at the request of the government or another large company.


  1. ozoner

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    We aren't going to have crowd-sourced maps until we have crowd-owned satellites or high altitude reconnaissance airplanes :) .

  1. SolarSaves

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What do you want for nothin' ?

    As I understand it, most blurred sites on google maps/earth are possible terrorist targets. It's not like they are blurring out whole towns, or changing coordinates. It seems that google updates their satellite imagery every few years, it isn't instantaneous, nor even yearly, so I doubt if Apple asked them to not update the imagery of their section of the Earth, but it is highly coincidental that it gets updates just now...

    And it's really funny that you don't like the idea of "your maps", which you pay nothing for, being censored. And of course, satellite images aren't maps, even though they are integrated with them...
    You can always pay for a service that will sell you "your maps" with uncensored satellite images for the right price... ;-)

  1. Gazoobee

    Joined: Dec 1969


    crowd sourced

    .... street view is going to happen eventually. It's the only way to get real-time updates anyway, so someone will surely implement it.

    Microsoft bought the technology to do this a few years ago. Very impressive stuff. Hopefully Apple will buy it at Microsoft's Giant Yard Sale, which is set to happen about three weeks after Balmer is chucked out.

  1. bluedog

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Instant On!

    Actually, google maps may have been up-to-date all the time. Apple just has added the new 'instant-on' feature to its data center and construction abilities!

    Seriously, by posting 'photos' that include the gps coordinates, one could do this already. Its simply a matter of enough photos being posted with this info online. Now if we had a service to direct people in an area to take the pictures for us, hmm. I seem to have read about a service like this recently. I believe it was for a commercial purpose but interesting nonetheless.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's a decoy

    The real data center is 1 mile underground and 5 miles away.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Raccoon City

    I believe is the internal name. ;)

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