Google is restoring post-Katrina imagery of New Orleans to its geographic information applications. The company, which swears it â€œcan make money without doing evil,â€ 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 â€œas part of a regular series of global data enhancements,â€ (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 â€œthe airbrushing of history.â€
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.