August 3, 2010

If you have built something in the past without a permit, make sure you check to see if it shows up on Google Maps!

Looks like government officials are starting to utilize the power of Google Earth and Google Maps to crack down on permit and building infractions, and fine people for the offenses.

The use of Google Earth by government officials started in Greece, for “under the table” pools. In the last economic downturn in Greece, the Greek government used Google Maps and Google Earth to find people who had craftily evaded taxes by failing to declare a pool. Hello big-brother.

What started in Greece has now trended to the US, in the small town of Riverhead, Long Island. The town tracked down roughly 250 “unpermitted” pools using Google’s satellite imagery and have collected over $75,000 in fines from pool owners who never filled out the required paperwork. Ouch!

The power of the internet is strengthening, and government officials are starting to harness this power. Time will tell if the Canadian government will start to utilize such powers.

Wowzers! Check out below how many pools there are in Toronto’s Forest Hill neighbourhood!

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