Fake villages

On a remote lane in South Wales, the Street View car catches a glimpse of an attractive hilltop town in the distance, with red-roofed houses clustering around the church spire. An aerial view of the town shows it to be eerily quiet, however, with the streets as devoid of life as the graveyard. All is not what it seems. This community is a fake – a mock-up of a German village, built at the tail end of the Cold War for the army to practise their FIBUA skills (that’s Fighting In Built-Up Areas). Understandably, Google’s vehicles couldn’t get…

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