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Security & privacy

These are the banned Google Maps locations you can’t see

Navigation apps are great, especially if you are getting back into traveling as restrictions ease. They not only guide you to your destination but can show you hot spots and points of interest along the way.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t drawbacks. These apps use your data and if you’re not careful, they can contribute to hitting your limit and also slow your phone down. Tap or click here to read about five types of apps that are guilty of this and how to stop them.

Google Maps can be a game of sorts if you know what to look for. The app has banned places you cannot see and it can be fun to find them and learn the history behind their concealment. We’ll get you started with some spots.

Montlucon prison, France

Active prisons are considered sensitive areas and thus can be censored on Google Maps. Here’s a location in central France that Reddit users identified as a prison.

Tap or click here to check out this pixelated blob.

Google Maps

Marcoule nuclear site, France

The Marcoule Nuclear Site in France is blurred out and you don’t need to be a nuclear scientist to figure out why the government made this so. The French seem to be serious about their privacy.

Tap or click here to see what’s blurred.

Google Maps

Ayioi Anargyroi military base, Greece

It should come as no surprise that military bases don’t want you to see their business. The Ayioi Anargyroi Military Base in Greece is no exception.

Tap or click here to see this top-secret location.

Google Maps stores your location in your profile to help you navigate. It makes sense, but how long is that information stored? Tap or click here to learn how to check out your location history, disable this feature and delete the data.

Google Maps

Dowództwo Wojsk Specjalnych special forces base, Poland

Another concealed military base is in Poland. The country’s special forces are trained here.

For your eyes only: Tap or click here.

RELATED: Want to take a dip in the ocean this summer while avoiding sharks? Tap or click here to learn about a tracker that can keep you safe from these silent predators.

Google Maps

Patio de los Naranjos, Spain

This blurred location in the south of Spain is likely due to the government offices and buildings found nearby. The name translates to “The Yard of Orange Trees” — sounds quite peaceful for an area of high national security.

Tap or click here to see this censored Spanish spot.

Google Maps

Bonus: Blur your house on Google Maps

As convenient as Google Maps and Street View is, it can be unnerving when your house and address number are visible to anyone in a photo. You can request a privacy blur over any pictures of your home. Here’s how:

  • Open Google Maps or the Street View gallery and look up your address.
  • Find and open the Street View photo you want to have blurred. The image has to show your face, home, or other identifying information.
  • In the bottom right, click Report a problem. Complete the form. 
  • Click Submit.

Once the photo is reported and blurred, there’s no way for Google to reverse it. Make sure you’re 100% certain about removing the image before making the request.

Keep reading

5 new Google changes to watch out for

8 hidden maps and trackers you need to switch off

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