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I "Google" Spy On My Neighbors

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Guest Blogger Kristen says "I spy with my little eye--a pool in my neighbor's backyard, thanks to Google Maps!"

Used to be, if you wanted to take a peek in to your neighbor's yard, you'd have to weasel your way in by bringing over a bunt cake. Since, as a new mother, I have no time for cakes--bunt or otherwise--I rely on technology to do the dirty work for me.

My husband and my 8-month-old just moved into our first house in Southern California and I thought I'd try to get to know my neighbors in the most technologically savvy way I know--by going on Google Maps for an aerial view of their backyards. You know what I found? Several homes in my neighborhood have swimming pools! Thank goodness, because our new house doesn't, and southern California summers are freaking hot.

Armed with my new information, I was able to pinpoint exactly who I needed to make friends with in the new 'hood, and who would be the recipient of my store-bought bunt cake.

I'm not the only one scrutinizing maps like some self-serving neighborhood watch. Teenagers in England are also using Google satellite images to locate private swimming pools, then sneaking over fences and walls for moonlight swims in a trend called "pool hopping" or "dipping". Residents have woken up to find that kids have used their pools and left behind beer cans and other evidence.

I think I'll try to use a more neighborly approach by actually getting myself invited over.

Does it freak you out that people can see into your backyard?

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62 comments so far | Post a comment now
Beth C. June 22, 2008, 8:00 PM

I’ve looked for my own home and neighborhood and the satellite pics are about 4 years old. So, what you see now may not be current.

Princesspeachfan2008 June 23, 2008, 3:48 AM

It could have been the cause why my house was robbed a few months ago.

April June 23, 2008, 9:01 AM

There’s nothing quite like having a nosy Big Brother for a neighbor.

mom_of2boys July 2, 2008, 8:29 AM

As if the satellite view isn’t bad enough, you can see a street view of my house! It’s much clearer than the satellite view. You can see our vehicles, house, and read the license plate numbers. One good thing - good thing my kids weren’t outside.

Anonymous July 10, 2008, 3:49 PM

i googled my house and it showed images from three years ago so im sure its the same for evryone that i know of my friend told me it was supose to have images from three months ago but im not sure

scottindiana February 10, 2009, 12:16 AM

There is no technology available publicly that allows you to see license plate numbers. You are wrong.

paul May 15, 2009, 7:11 PM

Ya’ll need to stop looking at peoples back yard,its none of your bussiness what your neighbor have,buy your own pool.If i catch you in my pool you will never swim again.MIND YOUR OWN BUSSINESS.STOP BEING SOCIALIST.

azariah April 7, 2010, 6:31 PM

i spyed on my friend po po and her brother about to fight over the mcdonalds drinking cup LOL!!!!!

azariah April 7, 2010, 6:31 PM

i spyed on my friend po po and her brother about to fight over the mcdonalds drinking cup LOL!!!!!

azariah April 7, 2010, 6:31 PM

i spyed on my friend po po and her brother about to fight over the mcdonalds drinking cup LOL!!!!!

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