Google photos to protect land

Forestry authorities have started using old Internet satellite photographs to protect forestland from illegal construction, according to the forest ranger for Pyrgos, in the Peloponnese, which was badly ravaged in the wildfires of 2007 that killed more than 70 people. «We are using Google Earth photographs from before the fires as a reference point to avert all forms of illegal exploitation of land,» Dionysis Thomopoulos said yesterday. «It is much more practical than traditional aerial photographs, as we have the precise geographical coordinates, which we can compare with our measurements on the ground,» Thomopoulos told Agence France-Presse. He added that there had been «far fewer attempts» at illegal construction on fire-ravaged land. The forestry decision may take the heat off the US search engine, which last week saw its Street View feature banned due to concerns about violations of privacy.