Google Maps Making Political Statements On Conflict In Georgia?
Google Maps Making Political Statements On Conflict In Georgia?Aug 18 2008 - Google, News - Farhad Divecha
The unhappy chain of events that have occurred in Georgia lately, due to which the country has been in the limelight, has no doubt triggered a lot of interest, among people all over the world, about that country and its neighbors. This sudden interest has induced users to look up Georgia on Google Maps.
Users have been surprised to see that they could not find any information about any cities or roads in Georgia. Even the capital city, T’bilisi, has not been marked. Only blank outlines of Georgia and its neighbours Armenia and Azerbaijan can be seen.
This led to some questions being raised about whether Google simply deleted the maps of these countries from their website following the ongoing conflict.
Fortunately, in this case Google is not playing God / political arbiter. The omission is merely due to the countries not being important enough for Google to bother with! In their own words, “we never launched coverage in those countries because we simply weren’t satisfied with the map data we had available.”
It has been standard policy at Google Maps that if they do not get properly detailed maps, they continue searching for better maps, and do not launch the maps until they are fully satisfied with the material available to them.
In all fairness, if it had not been for the recent upheavals that have occurred in that part of the world, most Google users would never have noticed the absence of detail on these maps.
Based on the feedback received, Google has now realised that users would prefer to have some basic information within maps of these countries rather than nothing at all. In accordance with these sentiments, Google has now decided to change their internal policy, and will introduce maps of the few countries that they have not yet covered, with whatever basic information is available to them.
Some of the other countries that do not yet have detailed Google Maps are Guyana, Suriname, North Korea, South Korea and Argentina. Users can make access information about these places on Google Earth in the meanwhile.