Using Google Streetmap view in your blog, possible security concerns to be aware of

As Google recently release Streetmap view in Israel and Ukraine recently, I’m betting that lots of bloggers interested in the middle east will want to make use of this in their writings.

I wrote a few days ago, with some screen shots of my browser, I have noticed a few things that you might want to be aware of:

Firstly, if you make screen shots of your computer’s browser, be sure to obliterate any occurrences of your name or email address you see, this is quite important when using Google’s services which are all tied to a Gmail address.

Where I have written an “X” – don’t use this URL as a link to your site at the top of your browser, it won’t work, it will just take a click directly to the regular maps.google.com address.

Instead click on the little chain icon here as shown by arrow, this will give you a usable URL your visitors can click on to get to a certain angle of street you want to look at.

Now this bit is important:

If lets says, you enter your home or workplace address, then jump to a different place, the URL you plan to make public will show the original place I did a search for.   Zoom on this pic and look at the underlined bits I have highlighted in orange.

Hence, be careful!  you might give private details of where you live or work to the whole world!

Instead, clear any search inquiry, and just zoom straight in on the place you want to take a shot off, copy and paste the URL you plan to make public on your blog or social media, and look carefully at the (very long) URL to make sure there is nothing personal that indicate a previous search you did.

Here is an example of this done without care:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=downing+street,+london,+uk&hl=en&ll=51.506967,-0.124023&spn=0.007519,0.01929&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=39.099308,79.013672&hq=downing+street,&hnear=London,+United+Kingdom&t=m&z=16&layer=c&cbll=51.506967,-0.124023&panoid=cgfjh0ts_Mc38hIdERRcoQ&cbp=12,329.67,,0,2.6

This web address actually is close to Embankment in London, but I actually changed the location of the place I was searching from 10 Downing Street to another location, but the search terms are still embedded in the URL.

I tend to paste this into a different web browser, in this case Internet Explorer 9 which I don’t use very often, clearly shows where I searched for.

So there you have it, just be careful if you want to show Streetmap view snapshots of places, and have fun!

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