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Google Maps Drives Navy To Change Building

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Google Maps is forcing the U.S. Navy to change the design of one of its buildings in San Diego called "The Seals Lair" which from an aerial photograph appears to be in the shape of a swastika.


 Google Maps Drives Navy To Change Building
Google Maps Drives Navy To Change Building

Back in 2005 WebProNews reported on the story of the offensively shaped building and Chris Silver Smith has been following the story as well. He writes,"Quite some time back, I came across this Swastika-shaped building via Google Maps, and posted the screengrab in my Flickr account. Since then, it became one of my most popular Flickr pictures, since strange stuff like this can become quickly viral. Loads of people (16,000+) have viewed the photo’s page."

CNN did a report on the building and said the Navy has received so many complaints about the building that they are now planning to change the shape of the building so it does not resemble its current shape from the sky. The Navy will be adding landscaping and structures to fix the problem at the tune of $600,000.

To be fair to the Navy the building was not purposely built to be in the shape of a swastika from the research I found. Silver Smith points out that it has become all too common for people to use mapping services such as Google Maps and Yahoo Maps to see aerial views and that online map users have helped to push for the change in the design of the building.

Google Maps Drives Navy To Change Building
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  • meh

    there is nothing offensive about the complex. it’s not just one building, but several arranged in ‘L’ shapes. I can’t believe that anyone could see the building from the air and honestly think that the builders were promoting Nazism, the ideology that the US Navy helped to destroy.

    then lets not forget that the actual swastika is an ancient religious symbol with positive connotations. it’s knee-jerk reactionism like this that will continue to keep the symbol a taboo.

  • Trevor

    Can’t the NAVY be a little more savy in solving the problem instead of throwing $600,000 at the problem by hiring expensive landscaping architects? How about hiring an imaginative artist and give him a barrel of black paint to create designs that would make the building appear to be another shape from the air? Doesn’t $5,000 sound a lot better to tax payers ears?

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