How to hide your home on Google Maps and Apple Maps.
If you use Google Maps or Apple Maps' street view modes to look for Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook's house, you'll come up against a pixelated brick wall. It's also not a coincidence. After winning a restraining order against an alleged stalker in January, Cook's home became covert.
But Cook isn't the only one who can make his house disappear from two of the most popular mapping apps out there. Regular users can do the same thing, particularly if you happen to find their street view capabilities are a little too revealing for your tastes.
If you're not familiar with Google's (GOOG, GOOGL) Street View and Apple's Look Around, both of which allow you to get a close-up look at areas from the street level.
The goal is to provide you with a more detailed perspective of the address you're searching for. You've probably used it a few times to get a preview of somewhere you're going, such as a restaurant where you're meeting pals.
However, the features also make your home visible to the entire world on the internet. Yes, anybody can drive by your house and see it in person, but having the area where you spend the majority of your time on display for the entire globe is creepier.
Thankfully, you can use either app to blur your residence, making it less visible to other users. And it's incredibly simple and quick to do so. Here's how to do it.
Type your home address into the Google Maps app on your iPhone or Android device. To get a Street View of your home, tap the image of the location. Then press the choices button in the top right corner of the screen, which is symbolised by three horizontal dots.
Select "Report a problem" from the drop-down menu.
After that, you'll be taken to a screen displaying a picture of your house. Arrange the photo so that your home is in the centre of the red square. Then select "My home" from the "Request blurring" menu. To obscure your house, enter your specific address in the dialogue box. If you don't want people to see your automobile or licence plate, you can also obscure them.
Clicking on Report a problem from the Google Maps screen will give you the option to block your home on the app's Street View feature.
Then, after entering your email address, click the submit button. The blurring may take some time to take effect, but once submitted, the request will be permanently banned. You won't be able to un-blur it, so make sure this is something you want to keep.
The procedure is the same whether you're using a laptop or a desktop computer. Simply open Street View, click report a problem, and select blur "My home" from the drop-down menu.
Apple Maps is a little more user-friendly than Google Maps. You can request that your specific address be blurred on Apple Maps by sending an email to MapsImageCollection@apple.com instead of going through the request process.
The entire procedure is really simple. Just make sure you're convinced you want to permanently conceal the location. To pass the time and see what's changed in the years since I moved, I like to take a digital stroll around my childhood neighbourhood every now and then. If that's something you'd like to do in the future, make your house as noticeable as possible.
If you don't want to be visible, just blur away.