The purpose of the blurring tool is to allow users to step in where our automatic blurring algorithms fail. With the blurring editor, you are able to blur parts of an image that have been missed or un-blur parts of an image that shouldn't have been blurred. In this article you can read about general blurring guidelines, using the blur editor, and how the blur requests get approved.
From every request you submit, our algorithm can learn and improve. Therefore it's good if you're careful with the blurs and follow our tips on what to blur or unblur. Great if you can also fix the whole image (i.e. do all the necessary blurs and unblurs) as opposed to focusing on just the bits that interest you.
What should be blurred:
- Vehicle license plates
- Inappropriate or private parts of the image (the alternative is to request deletion of the image)
What shouldn't be blurred:
- Whole people
- People from behind when the face is not seen
- Billboards, advertisements, brand labels
- Street, traffic and information signs
When viewing an image you can zoom in on it (using the mouse scroll), which of course means that details of the image may become sharper. Therefore, it may be necessary to blur more details than are visible when initially viewing the image. Ideally, we want to blur whatever is readable/recognizable when you zoom to the maximum in the image. This will be as sharp as it gets (so you won't later find another version of the image where you can see more clearly).
To submit blur requests, select the three dots icon (...) when viewing an image on the Mapillary web, and then "Edit blurs on this image". You will enter the blur editor mode where you can request to blur or unblur parts of the image. The currently applied blurs are marked with boxes which you can drag around and the change the size and shape of. You can also remove them altogether as well as add blurs to new areas. See the image below or click on the question mark icon at the bottom right of the blur editor for an overview of how to do those things.
When you're happy with the blur edits, click on the "Submit + >" button, which will submit your request and move you to the next image in the sequence. If an image only has false blurs (not missing blurs) then you can use the "Clear all + >" button to request unblurring everything and move to the next image. If you don't wish to change anything in the current image then use the sequence arrows at the top of the image to move to the next image. It's not a good idea to submit an image when you have not changed any blurs on it, as it will just create a delay in the approval process.
The blurring approval process is a semi-automated one. When you first start submitting blurs (which you can do for anyone's images, not just your own) then the requests get reviewed manually by our team, generally once every workday. When you've had 200 blur requests manually approved, you get "white-listed" and from then on your blur requests are approved automatically every hour.
Note that when you request a set of blurs/unblurs for an image that includes a "false move", i.e. you have asked to unblur a previously blurred face or license plate (this may accidentally happen if you use the "Clear all"-button), then in the manual review your blur request will be rejected.