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Where not to take pictures?

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Level 5

Where not to take pictures?

Since I started taking pictures for Google Maps, it was unclear exactly where it was allowed to do so. In theory, any location should be okay. However, there are factors that make it important to avoid using a camera. What is your experience? Where did you discover that photography was not allowed?

 

I will share a short list based on what I have discovered:

  • Banks and ATMs
  • Any place with people with faces visible
  • Private property without permission

Google Maps has policies for what kind of photos are allowed but this do not include what people, companies, and governments forbid.

Obviously there are legal issues that change based on the country involved.

 

What kind of issues have you encountered?

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Level 3
Solution
Accepted by topic author JeffM
‎08-07-2016 04:21 AM

Re: Where not to take pictures?

I avoid pictures with:

  • Prices, because they get outdated fast -- and for that matter, anything that expires fast, such as a flash sale with 50% off that goes for 2 days;
  • Focused faces and people, because I'm adding pictures of a place, not its customers -- and of course there are legal implications;
  • Content that is somehow already available in Google Maps, because there is no point in having 20 pictures of the same appetizer in a restaurant;
  • Temporary setups and conditions, such as a flooded place, folded tables for some one-time event -- unless the place advertises said event as something unique.

I don't how it works worldwide, but here in Brazil there are lots of places that are missing or poorly added, so I tend to focus on those places.

11 REPLIES
Level 3
Solution
Accepted by topic author JeffM
‎08-07-2016 04:21 AM

Re: Where not to take pictures?

I avoid pictures with:

  • Prices, because they get outdated fast -- and for that matter, anything that expires fast, such as a flash sale with 50% off that goes for 2 days;
  • Focused faces and people, because I'm adding pictures of a place, not its customers -- and of course there are legal implications;
  • Content that is somehow already available in Google Maps, because there is no point in having 20 pictures of the same appetizer in a restaurant;
  • Temporary setups and conditions, such as a flooded place, folded tables for some one-time event -- unless the place advertises said event as something unique.

I don't how it works worldwide, but here in Brazil there are lots of places that are missing or poorly added, so I tend to focus on those places.

Level 3

Re: Where not to take pictures?

What about parks, or public parks in USA. They are green-colored, and takes no pictures or feedback whatsoever. Am I right? Is this only some parks? please help!

 

Connect Moderator

Re: Where not to take pictures?

Basically just use common sense. Don't take photos during the immigration area at the airport, for example.

 

Take a quick glance and make sure there are no signs for not taking photos whenever possible. If an authority personnel approach you when you're taking photos, listen to their reasoning and comply. Do not try to fight back, it's not worth it. 

 

Sometimes an owner will ask to not take photos in their establishments. Explain the reasoning why you're taking the photos, that you have no malicious intent. If they still object of you taking photos, again do not fight back. The owner might have their own reasoning and we should respect it.

Level 5

Re: Where not to take pictures?

@IvanY This is very practical advice. Instinct plays a big part. If it feels wrong, it probably is.

The most obvious potential mistake is taking pictures of a business inside the building. Property owners typically frown on pictures and require permission before taking pictures.

Do not fight with anyone that opposes you. It serves no purpose since you have already lost. It is their place and they get to decide what happens.

Over the last five months of taking pictures all around the area, there was only once that I had a problem. It was at a local mall that had a strong anti-picture policy. I tried to point out that I was only doing it for Google Maps but this did not matter. I tried to get permission but it was already too late. The people enforcing the rules have no say and the people in charge did not want to talk to me. Best advice is to put the camera away, comply, and walk away.

 

Just imagine what people are thinking when someone is taking pictures. Then imagine the worst case. That kind of thinking is bound to trigger actions against it.  In the case of Google Maps, it is best to take pictures when no one is around. If people are around, then try to make it difficult to recognise anyone in the pictures (backs turned, or in distance).

 

Based on this thread, it seems like a good idea to build one thing that includes all the advice in one place. Great to hear what others think about this topic.

 

Regards,

Jeff

Re: Where not to take pictures?

@JeffM Yes, some banks have a very strict no picture policy.  One time I took a picture inside of one, and the manager came over and asked why I did, and asked me to delete the picture.

 

But why would a picture of an ATM be an issue?  Just curious 

˚͜˚
Level 5

Re: Where not to take pictures?

As it was explained to me, the shopping centre was afraid that someone could use the pictures to plan a robbery. In general, people are untrusting when it comes to things related to money. The cleaning lady that stopped me kept on saying "Why would you take a picture of an ATM?". Overall, it is not worth the agony. Also, people are not that keen to see an ATM anyways. For me, I like proof that it is really there. There have been so many times where maps will say something is there when really it is either not there or it is somewhere else. 

The worry of taking pictures of banks/ATMs is essentially mistrust. There are other places that have triggered reactions. 

  • A real estate business that was worried that I was from the local government to prove something was wrong with the signs
  • A petrol station that thought I was a price monitor or a raging customer
  • A passerby that thought I was trying to take pictures of people without them knowing
  • A mall shopkeeper that was concerned that I was taking pictures of people without their permission

The number of times I have been approached is very rare compared to how many times I have taken pictures without incident. It is easy to remember when something was said, however.

 

 

Re: Where not to take pictures?

Thanks for the reply. 

 

A picture of an ATM could also give them context of where it is.  They might know what building it's at but not know where inside the building and a picture could help.

 

Even just knowing what color the ATM is could possible help a visually impaired person locate it easier.

˚͜˚
Level 5

Re: Where not to take pictures?

Hi, 

    Kindly understand that there is no restricted locations for us except getting into someone's privacy, inside a house, or private properties. Or stop when someone raise their hands to stop. Here the rules are same as a street photography. Always remember that your camera doesn't fire flash light. You may keep it in off position for all times except for certain occasions. This will help you to aim at a better angle.

Happy photography!!!

Level 5

Re: Where not to take pictures?

@JonathanH,

For sure..my local credit union down the road in Solana Bach,CA freaked when I asked to take a photo inside.I took a bunch outside but that's not my model ...I like inside shots so I'll leave that alone in future.

 

 

Cheers,

Zed star.