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Norwegian government bans Apple from capturing 3D Flyover Maps data in Oslo


The Norwegian government has banned Apple from capturing 3D Flyover Maps imagry of Oslo, reports Aftenposten (via 9to5Mac). Apparently the Norwegian National Security Authority has instituted the ban because it is concerned that the small aircraft Apple uses, which has advanced 3D photography systems on board, could map confidential buildings and other security infrastructure in the city.

Apple is now working with the United States Embassy in Norway to help resolve the issue. Oslo's mayor Fabian Stang has come out in support of Apple saying its 3D maps can not only help those that live in the capital, but also increase tourist interest as they can view the city from afar. As Stang told the Aftenposten newspaper:

I think the new apps is very exciting – and they are also relevant for tourists, both those who are here and those who are considering going here. I have therefore asked the minister to look into the possibility of achieving this, while maintaining the security measures but me must consider.

A semi-obvious answer to this problem would be for Apple to work with the Norwegian government in identifying imagery that is suitable to be shown to users. Google and other mapping services in the past have worked with various governments around the world in identifying security structures and not making photography of such structures available to the public.

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