Google Earth: helpful for evading death squads in Iraq

BBC News Baghdad correspondent Andrew North reports that some people in Iraq are using Google Earth to avoid sectarian violence in Baghdad:

One tip - on the Iraq League site, one of the best known -- is for people to draw up maps of their local area using Google Earth's detailed imagery of Baghdad so they can work out escape routes and routes to block.

Link (Thanks, Joshua)

On a related note, this satellite photo of Baghdad via Google Maps appears to depict a gigantic lake of blood: Link. A BB pal in "baggers" says it's more likely sewage, "but there's no shortage of either right now in this place." (sorry, I can't remember who suggested this map link)

Reader comments: Jon Z Swanson, CPT, AR, with the Office of the Speechwriter for the Commanding General in the Combined Arms Center at Ft. Leavenworth, KS, says:

Referencing the Iraq map of Baghdad that was posted on - the
area that is displayed in the screenshot and link to Google Maps is the
northern end of Sadr City.

I was posted there at FOB Eagle (about a km east
of that screenshotted area) from Mar 2004 - Mar 2005 with the 1st Cav
Division, and that canal is what used to be known as the "Army Canal" to the

The canal is indeed filled with raw sewage and trash. It's possible
that it appears red in the photo due to either camera/film problems or
someone may have dumped something in that particular section of the canal
that day that changed the color. It's normally a nasty combination of

Interesting bit of trivia about that canal by the way - the entire eastern half of Baghdad eventually dumps all its waste water sewage into that canal as it moves south, and then the canal joins up with the Tigris River outside of the city. Now guess where most of the people who live along the river south of Baghdad get their water supplied from?

Bryan William Jones says,

Regarding the canal of blood: I was told by a friend of mine (US Army Captain who spent a not inconsiderable time in Baghdad) that in parts of Baghdad, there are slaughter houses that dump the "waste blood" of animals into canals, turning them red with blood.