Google Earth has not blocked the Suez Canal. The color difference comes from the lighting, camera angles
A giant container ship that got stuck on its side in the Suez Canal was ultimately released after creating a maritime traffic jam and disrupting global shipping.
But the incident prompted some online to claim that it was not an accident and that Google Earth was suspiciously blocking people from seeing the channel.
“Why did Google Earth block the Suez Canal?” a Facebook post questions while displaying screenshots from Google Earth that appear to show much of the canal in a noticeably darker blue compared to the rest of the passage.
“Very VERY interesting and disturbing,” wrote one commentator.
“You know, because … censorship,” said another.
The post was reported as part of Facebook’s efforts to tackle fake news and disinformation on its news feed. (Learn more about our partnership with Facebook.)
There is nothing bad about the imagery of the channel by Google Earth, which was there before the ship was blocked. The program does not work in real time, and includes satellite, aerial, 3D and Street View images that are collected over time from various vendors and platforms.
“The mosaic of satellite and aerial photographs that you can see on Google Maps and Google Earth are from many different vendors, including state agencies, geological survey organizations, and commercial image vendors,” Matt said. Manolides, satellite imagery expert at Google. in a corporate blog post. “These images are taken on different dates and under different lighting and weather conditions.”
The inconsistency in the color of the Suez Canal water is due to a difference in day-to-day lighting conditions and camera angles, and a similar effect can be seen in other places on Google Earth.
For example, the first image shared in the post has a moderate amount of surface reflection, which makes it blue and waves can be seen. The third image has a large amount of surface reflection and is brighter than the first image due to more reflection from the sun towards the satellite.
Artifacts are sometimes produced when Google Earth assembles satellite images. They aren’t normally that visible, but satellite images of the water can sometimes make the seams more visible, according to Google.
We rate this post as false.