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Technology Google Maps changes political borders based on who's viewing, report says

03:40  15 february  2020
03:40  15 february  2020 Source:   cnet.com

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Google Maps tries to chart out the globe for more than a billion users around the world. So the search giant displays political borders differently depending on where a viewer is, according to a report Friday by But in India, people see a solid line that shows it as part of India, the report says .

Google redraws the borders on maps depending on who ’ s looking. The Silicon Valley firm alters Google ’s maps are created through a combination of satellite imagery, computer modeling and These people said they are often told to alter maps with no reason given and that their changes take

Google Maps tries to chart out the globe for more than a billion users around the world. But it's not so simple when those people disagree on where the lines should be drawn. So the search giant displays political borders differently depending on where a viewer is, according to a report Friday by The Washington Post.

a close up of text on a black background: Google Maps Angela Lang/CNET© Provided by CNET Google Maps Angela Lang/CNET

For example, take Kashmir, the region that India and Pakistan have fought over for more than 70 years. Maps viewers in Pakistan and elsewhere see the borders drawn as a dotted line, indicating a dispute. But in India, people see a solid line that shows it as part of India, the report says. Other labels are different too. The body of water separating Japan and South Korea is widely displayed as the Sea of Japan. But in South Korea, it's the East Sea.

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There are 32 countries that Google Maps refuses to draw borders around, but Quartz has unearthed another politically correct feature of the site: The borders of Arunachal Pradesh are different when Quartz created GIFs showing how the region' s borders change when viewed from various countries.

Students compare their border selections based on physical and cultural features. They discuss other factors that could impact where borders are Country borders , however determined, define a physical space over which a country exercises control. When a political border is imposed on the

The discrepancies give a glimpse at how Google and other Silicon Valley giants operate when confronted with political sensitivities related to world governments. The challenge of disputed regions isn't a new problem -- printed mapmakers have to deal with it, too -- but the speed and connectedness of software can make the difference appear more jarring.

While working through those decisions, Google said it works with organizations such as the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN), and looks at treaties and armistices. The company acknowledged that it defers to local governments when it comes to borders.

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The interactive map (Geo Map ) allows more options but it' s based on flash which i'd like to avoid(Not sure if links would be possible anyway). Sounds like you're looking for a client-side imagemap? When you say pan/zoom, is this real-time pan/zoom, or you click a button and the page reloads a new map

And secondly, considered Reliable by whom ? Strictly speaking, any Data, including maps is only valid as long as it is certified by some legal Authority. Anyway can create a dataset, and claim it is accurate and reliable, but unless it certified by a legal Authority, it has no legal validity.

"We remain neutral on issues of disputed regions and borders, and make every effort to objectively display the dispute in our maps using a dashed gray border line," Ethan Russell, Director of Product Management for Google Maps, said in a statement. "In countries where we have local versions of Google Maps, we follow local legislation when displaying names and borders."

For more sensitive border decisions, Google relies on a special team of employees called the "disputed regions team," the Post said.

Given the scale of Google Maps, which turned 15 years old last week, the decisions aren't trivial. In December, Google announced that Maps has captured more than 10 million miles of Street View imagery. The distance, Google said, would amount to circling the Earth more than 400 times. The company also said Google Earth, the search giant's aerial mapping service, has a total of 36 million square-miles of satellite imagery for people to browse. With that collection, Google has mapped out the parts of the world where 98% of people live.

a close up of text on a black background: Google headquarters in Mountain View, California© Angela Lang/CNET

Google headquarters in Mountain View, California

Brilliant Ikea promo gives you discounts for navigating to the store with Google Maps .
As much as we hate tech companies tracking our every move, Google Maps doesn’t work if you don’t share your location with Google. Most people, however, don’t even worry about the amount of data they share with Google Maps. Those that do mind have ways to limit the tracking with Google’s privacy-related features. You can use incognito mode to unlink Maps activity from your main Google account, and you can erase your Maps history if you so desire. But if you want to take advantage of Ikea’s brilliant marketing campaign, you’ll want to have your Google Maps Timeline turned on and recording your trips to the store.

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