See the update below. I was right: Google’s new bot detection is overly naive, and I’m not the only one having problems.
See also John Cowan’s comment below, for a different (personal) interpretation of Google’s terms of service.
Google Maps won’t show me satellite imagery this morning.
Google has recently set up a system to try to autodetect and block bots scraping their system, and it isn’t working very well — people are getting blocked even from Google Search simply because they have too many (human-generated) queries passing through the same proxy.
This morning, I suddenly discovered a different problem: the satellite view in Google Maps has stopped working for me — I get the “don’t have imagery at this zoom level for this region” error everywhere, at every zoom level. I can still see maps and terrain, but not satellite pics, and I noticed the host
sorry.google.com setting a lot of cookies.
Is Google’s satellite imagery down for everyone else this morning, or has their software decided that I’m a bot trying to scrape satellite imagery?
I was right — Google’s software had decided that I was a bot. They have a test link directly to a satellite to see if you’re being blocked:
It took me to this page. I was able to renable access simply by entering a CAPTCHA.
I wrote a couple of months ago about how to detect overzoom in Google Maps. My guess is that the overzoom protection in OurAirports — automatically zooming out every 4 seconds until there were actual satellite tiles available — triggered to bot alert, and I’ve disabled the feature for now.