Using Satellite Images To Identify Zoning Violations

Rayan F. Coutinho, Ph.D.Recently, a town in New York created some buzz on the internet when it was revealed that it was using Google Earth to search all of the backyards in that town for swimming pool transgressions. The town found 250 pools that were built without permits and collected $75,000 in fines. The rationale provided by the town was one of safety. Critics decried it as another tactic for political subdivisions to close budget gaps in a difficult economy and cited privacy concerns.

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