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Some Residents In Sandy-Ravaged S.I. Not Happy With ‘Gawking’ Google Maps

New Dorp's Tracy Freeo: 'This Is Not What We Are, This Is What Happened To Us'
Former Home In New Dorp (credit: CBS 2)

Former Home In New Dorp (credit: CBS 2)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Just about anyone who uses Google Maps knows that it not only gives you a map location, but can give you a street view of the address you pinpoint.

Google’s street views are great for everything that stays the same, but on Staten Island, some homes were destroyed during Superstorm Sandy.

People in the storm-ravaged areas are not all pleased with photographing the damage for posterity.

Google has been out with a vehicle with a special camera mounted on top to capture images of storm-ravaged neighborhoods.

“To show our location, this is not what we are. This is what happened to us,” New Dorp resident Tracy Freeo told CBS 2’s John Slattery.

“Well, I’ve seen enough people coming by taking pictures, and to me, it’s gawking. We need help,” said resident George Jorgensen.

Google issued the following statement, “We hope this accurate, updated imagery will help people around the world better understand the extent of the damage and the importance of coming together as a community to aid in the recovery efforts.”

Google Street View Car/File (Photo credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Google Street View Car/File (Photo credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Other residents, like Marie Mandia, who lost everything in her home, said she doesn’t object to the updated images, Slattery reported.

“If you look around, it’s like a flower opening around here.  You hear the generators and the saws.  The flower is opening and we’re coming back,” Mandia said.

Despite that sentiment, a lot of people said Google is showing the borough at it’s worst.

“It’s unfortunate.  I’d like people to remember that they once were beach communities here on the shores of Staten Island,” Joseph Bello of Oakwood Beach told CBS 2’s Emily Smith.

Some residents may not like the way their homes will be depicted. But, the flip side, as CBS 2’s  Slattery said, “It is what it is.”

Google hasn’t worked out specifics yet as to when the next photos will be taken, but the company said it is committed to re-driving affected areas to show the recovery progress over time.

What do you think about Google taking images of storm-ravaged areas? Let us know below.