California Water Watch

Ideas about our water emergency from different perspectives

Why does Google black out most of the Salton Sea?

I was tooling around Google maps with the satellite feature and I noticed that in most levels of zoom and on the shoreline areas of note (like the Salton Sea Yacht Club) are blacked out. I compared it to images of the Aral Sea and found that no areas of this far away salt sink are clear – there is no blacking out. I don’t know what this means.

I know the color of the water changes from time to time due to water temperature and salt levels and algae blooms, but it seems strange that an area like state park would be blacked out. Here’s a comparison of the Google image and one I took very recently of the same area:

Google image, taken 6/27 of Salton Sea Yacht Club

Yacht Club cove, photo taken last week of May 2012

Salton Sea Yacht Club, taken last week of May 2012

Here are a few more confusing screenshots I took of the sea:

Check out the three shades on the water above, not sure what Google is trying to convey or hide…

Here are a few of the Aral Sea and the salt flats that remain where parts of the sea once was. Nothing I saw was blacked out or shaded like with the Salton Sea:

Even though it’s apples to oranges, I checked out the shoreline of the Caspian Sea too, which is not on a salt sink. I didn’t see any areas that were blacked out or shaded either, unless I was zoomed out to one of the highest degrees – then the whole sea was shaded light blue, not black. Here are a couple screenshots:

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This entry was posted on June 27, 2012 by in Personal Ideas and tagged , , , , .
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