Are Google Maps good or evil?

Google Maps helps bad people find good people and vice versa. You'll have to decide whether to feel more or less secure.

Pop quiz: do you feel more or less secure with the arrival of Google Maps and other online mapping services? Poll

Are Google Maps scary?
Google Maps can show child predators where children play--but also help honest citizens find felons. How do online maps make you feel?

More secure
Less secure

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I ran into that question when I got two very different news releases Monday. One argued that Google Maps helps awful people find you, but the other argued Google Maps helps you find awful people.

The first was from an outfit called Stop Child Predators, which launched a campaign to tell parents about the potential ills of Google Maps' Street View, which shows driver's-eye views of countless neighborhoods.

"This technology shows anyone in the world our communities, and exposes not only the routes from the bus stops to homes, but our children, without ever stepping foot in our neighborhoods," said Stacie Rumenap, the executive director of Stop Child Predators, in a statement.

On the other side was the announcement of, a new service from that said it shows where "sex offenders...thieves, violent offenders, murderers, or con artists" live in your neighborhood. The site shows people icons on a Google map; clicking an icon shows a person's photo, description, address, and criminal history.

"In a society where personal safety has become an important concern, provides useful information that will help families feel secure in their neighborhoods and personal lives," said, with President Bryce Lane adding, "We created to help consumers make the most educated decisions about the people they let into their personal lives and the lives of their loved ones."

So what's the verdict? Do online maps creep you out? Or do you feel safer because they enable you to keep an eye out for threats?

Vote in the poll, and share your thoughts in the feedback section below. said its site lets you scope neighborhoods for people with a criminal history. said its site lets you scope neighborhoods for people with a criminal history.

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