Google Maps Tries to Conceal Identity of Paul Bunyan in Akeley
Nice try Google, but I think we all know who that is.
I couldn't remember what town had the statue of Paul Bunyan where you can sit in his hand, and after scouring Google Maps I finally remembered it was in Akeley. I went to street view and at first thought my screen wasn't loading. Why was there a blurry spot over Paul's face?
It took a minute, but I realized that the technology Google uses to protect people's identity was mistakenly used on a statue.
Google has begun testing technology to blur faces in its Street View feature in an attempt to better balance privacy and the usefulness of a driver's-eye view of the world.
It's great that Google is trying to protect people's privacy, but this is a 25-foot-tall statue of a fictional lumberjack, in a town that claims to be his "birthplace". That little blur isn't fooling anyone.
Akeley is was a huge lumber community in the early 1900's, with a population of over 3,500 in 1908. The Akeley Paul Bunyan Historical Museum opened in 1984 and contains a collection of pictures and artifacts detailing the early history of the community. The statue of Paul Bunyan serves as a popular roadside attraction and a reminder of the town's history. The town also has been celebrating Paul Bunyan Days in the summer since the 1950's.