Why is Gaza, attacked by Israel, blurry on Google Maps?

Why is Gaza, attacked by Israel, blurry on Google Maps?


Until last year, the US government restricted the quality of satellite images of Israel and Palestinian territories, allowing American companies to profit commercially.
This restriction is stated in the US legislation Kyl-Bingaman Amendment (KBA) dating back to 1997 to support Israel’s security concerns. Under the KBA, US satellite image providers were allowed to submit low resolution photos with a pixel size of at least 2 meters.

However, it is not uncommon for various areas such as military bases to be blurred. However, KBA was the only case in which an entire country was subject to such a restriction. The law covered only from Israel, but was also applied to the Palestinian territories.

However, non-U.S. Providers such as the French company Airbus have come under increasing pressure to end US restrictions as they are able to deliver these images in a higher resolution.

KBA was removed in July 2020, and now the US government is allowing American companies to provide much higher quality images of the area (now each pixel can be as small as 40 centimeters, so objects the size of a person can be easily selected).

“The first motivation was scientific. We wanted to have a consistent source of archaeological data to work on our project, so we have a comparable high for the occupied Palestinian Territories,” said Michael Fradley, an archaeologist at Oxford University in the UK and one of the academics campaigning for change. we needed to reach resolution. “


However, despite the removal of the KBA, the occupied Palestinian territories still appear blurry on Google Earth.


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