Katrina Returns to Google

Google is restoring post-Katrina imagery of New Orleans to its geographic information applications. The company, which swears it “can make money without doing evil,” put imagery of the hurricane-devastated city back into Google Earth and Google Maps on Sunday, according to a company blog.

Google was the target of much criticism when “as part of a regular series of global data enhancements,” (as the company put it in its blog posting) it swapped out post-Katrina images for pre-hurricane ones. Among the latest to add a chastising voice was Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C., chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology's Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. Miller sent a letter to Google CEO Eric Schmidt on March 30, decrying what Miller called “the airbrushing of history.”

John Hanke, director of Google Maps and Earth, defended the company, noting that it had always made the Katrina imagery available on a dedicated site.

Hat tip: Information Week