The government is trying to get Google Earth to go easy on sensitive Indian installations. The government's latent irritation with Google Earth was legitimised when President APJ Abdul Kalam, in his wisdom, questioned the safety of having such high-rez photos available for free.
When former Deputy National Security Advisor Vijay Nambiar cried himself hoarse in March last year about the resolution of Google Earth (no pun intended), I did a story in The Indian Express on the universality of technology -- Google Earth doesn't discriminate. The story was replete with photos of military sites in Pakistan and China. Bot the argument, in hindsight, is a little more complicated than that. I find it very easy to be a proponent of technology like Google Earth's. Here's the follow-up story I did the following day -- the Navy chief and Air chief said they had no issues with Google Earth, but Gen JJ Singh did.
Here's what then Navy chief Admiral Arun Prakash had told me: "We have always been occupied with how to conceal our bases and ships better, but this is information that has always been available for payment, so it is no real worry for the Navy. It’s also a question of resolution and the fact that the images are dated.’’
Anyway, I spent an hour the other day (and will spend more in the future) using the tool to capture India's military bases. And here they are, for posterity, in case Google does buckle and censor its eyes over India. That would be such a tragedy. Anyway, here's Part I on IAF/Navy air bases. Enjoy the photos and, of course, you need to click to enlarge them. All photos are, of course, ©Google Earth.
Coming soon, Army and Navy bases. Contributions are welcome. Mail them to email@example.com.