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Google shows off blurry new German homes

Google Street View launches in Germany, complete not merely with blurred-out faces, but whole blurred-out homes.

Art can sometimes gush from the strangest of springs.

So when I cast my eyes on the first images from the launch of Google Street View in Germany, I find myself more entranced than by anything that, say, Dale Chihuly might have mustered.

You see, recently Google deigned to allow Germans to remove their homes from Street View. And when the service launched today in the land of always beautiful bratwurst and suddenly attractive soccer some of the images were powerful indeed.

Almost 3 percent of German homeowners decreed that their homes should not be on Street View. Which has led to something far more moving than the mere blurring of faces or license plates that have been seen thus far in other countries.

The first German municipality visible, Oberstaufen in Bavaria, offers whole houses blurred beyond recognition.

Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

There are many people who have wandered through Bavaria and discovered their vision to be increasingly blurred, especially in October. However, these vast Street View blurrings remind one of Christo's work on the Reichstag (and, most certainly, not with AT&T).

Inadvertently, Google and the German people have created a significant art form, one that can surely only spread beyond German borders. I can see residents of so many parts of the world asking Google to create ever more interesting blurry shapes around their own houses, so that these stand out from the other blurry houses in their neighborhood.

I see requests for colors. I see requests for stars, stripes, hammers, sickles, initials, Masonic symbols, images of favorite sports stars and even personal logos over the blurriness. I see people trying to sell ad space on their blurred out Street View house.

To some, having almost 3 percent of the houses on German Street View completely blurred out might seem like an indictment of Google's service. I see an entirely new form of imagery being created, one which will, in some distant future, deserve an exhibition at the Guggenheim.