May 14, 2010

Why is there Arabic writing on the Google map of Montgomery, Alabama...

... just above the Lagoon Park Golf Course. And why does it disappear when you try to zoom in?

27 comments:

Chip Ahoy said...

Hahaha, you have to admit, Alabama does sound Arabic.

PCS Blogger said...

What's really creepy is that it's next to an Annex of Maxwell Air Force Base that I'll be visiting this weekend.

former law student said...

Easter Egg, probably

jaltcoh said...

You mean Maxwell Air Force Bace. (According to GoogleMaps.)

SteveR said...

the translation is "hiding in plain sight"

Lem said...

You could be a member of the Rotary Club and have all kinds of ideas about whatever.. One thing I can positively testify to is that other Rotary Club members will not be susceptible to any smear as a result of said member.

The Tea Party seems to be held in another category all together different.. a prejudice f**ng kind of different.

Prejudice is not all about skin color you know. (I'm talking to the poster at Metafilter)

LonewackoDotCom said...

Normal people might point out how GMaps work, specifically what happens when you zoom out. They might then look for possible logical explanations, of which there are several.

Instead, I prefer THE teaparty EXPLANATION that it's a SYMBOL from OBAMA's handlers inside CHINA that HE needs to ESTABLISH world COMMUNISM by 2011 OTHERWISE the LIZARD people will do something or whatever.

Rialby said...

We're all Muslims now.

Look at the way we handle images of Muhammed. It's never been forbidden for infidels to draw Muhammed any more than it's a forbidden for the goyum to eat pork or the Jews to eat beef on Fridays.

Get used to it. We're coming up on the 9 year anniversary of 9/11 and we have a lot of people who have forgotten who the enemy is.

Rialby said...

Btw, I suspect it will turn out to be some programmer at Google who is responsible for sprinkling these things throughout the map of the US.

Off to see if I can find more on other military installations at the same zoom level. Back in a flash.

Rialby said...

Looked at some of the larger military installations and didn't find any.

But, I did find another in Alabama!

Search for Bankhead Lake, Alabama. Just south of the lake is more Arabic.

Drew W said...

Actually, that area north of the golf course is packed with middle eastern restaurants and, as a courtesy to the locals, the Arabic phrase that appears on the map means "No Menus."

Lem said...

There is probably an innocuous explanation..

Still.. the idea that conspiracies are par and parcel of the tea party infuriate me.. Its a smear.

Rialby said...

http://americaspeaksink.com/2010/05/islamic-messages-encoded-in-google-maps/#more-7146

As a metafilter commenter suggests - it might just a code default for place name.

JAL said...

Ask Eric Holder to investigate.

Oh. Wait ...

Rialby said...

Lem - agree totally.

If it's still available, you could pick any day from 2000 to 2009 on the DemocraticUnderground and come back with your sides hurting. Those people are nutso conspiracy freaks if there ever were any.

I still clearly remember the DU post from 2003ish where someone set up a wire cage in their backyard, put a bunch of paper inside, put a brick on top, doused it with lighter fluid and set it on fire. When it neither melted nor collapsed, it was proof that W was behind 9/11. Oh it was wonderful. I'll have to go find it.

Rialby said...

Thank you DU and Google for bring this back in all its glory...

The Experiment that proved it!!

Ann Althouse said...

"Normal people might point out how GMaps work, specifically what happens when you zoom out."

Um... the post makes a point about something that happens when you zoom in. Not out. I zoom in to get a closer look and to read tiny print. I'm surprised when the print doesn't enlarge... but disappears.

edutcher said...

It's the sinister disappearing Arabic font trick.

(My God, Colonel, they're going to attack ... on December 7th!!!)

(Quick, Watson, the game is afoot!!)

Chip Ahoy said...

Hahaha, you have to admit, Alabama does sound Arabic.

From an old Bugs Bunny cartoon, a magician named "Ala Bahma".

Of course, it reminds you of someone else.

Christopher said...

http://tinyurl.com/2bu9lsb

that's a link to an enlarged (but, scaled up from the original, blurry) grab of the image, in case anyone here reads Arabic.

I like the default-bug explanation.

Revenant said...

Weird.

al said...

Google Maps has all kinds of weird stuff.

Search for Fermilab, zoom in a bit on the center of the ring, and look for a store that doesn't belong there.

John Burgess said...

Google Maps is, shall we say, 'error prone'. It had my street wrong, but after I pointed it out to them, Google did correct it--in about two months.

The Arabic we're looking at on this map says "Madison", the name of the town beneath it.

As others have noted, it's likely that when Google Maps comes across a database error, it defaults to Arabic, the first in its alphabetical list of languages. We should kick the Albanians to make their language more prominent and thus avoid occasions of paranoia. But aren't many Albanians Muslims?

WV: embred The whole discussion is a bit incestuous, don't you think?

HT said...

Nooooo Alabama does not in the least sound Arabic. Maybe cause I'm from here, it's 100% Indian to me.

That Arabic thing on the map is probably letting people know where the Muslim center is, of which there are a few round about. But it would be nice if someone who speaks Arabic could pipe up.

Speaking of Arabic and Alabama, I have a great joke.

HT said...

These two old boys, one from Alabama and the other from Georgia were driving around northern Alabama when they entered Arab, Alabama. "Did that sign just say Arab?" the one from Georgia asked. "Yeah, but it's not Arab, it's A-rab," the one from Alabama said. "Shut up, it is not." "Yes it is." And on they went. "Tell you what - let's pull into this establishment and ask the lady behind the counter."

So they got out and approached the lady behind the counter and the one from Georgia asked, "M'am how do you pronounce this place we're in right here?"

She put her finger tips on the counter, leaned into them, and enunciating slowly and perfectly said, "Day ree Queen!"

former law student said...

al-Abama, al-Qaeda, what's the difference, really?

Collecting stamps as a pre-teen, I know Albania is Shqiperia or something. So maybe it's far down the alphabet.

Christy said...

Ooh! And if you go into that intersection, 3 ticks from the max, you see "State of Alabama Surplus Property." Disappears at the next tick down.

Christy said...

BTW, it doesn't disappear on Google Earth, but it does resolve to a bit of land between access roads to the highways with nothing on it. Street view doesn't show anything there.

Those of us who Supernatural fans know that crossroads hold great significance.