Disputed Territory? Google Maps Localizes Borders Based on Local Laws

Dec 1, 2009 • 8:08 am | comments (1) by | Filed Under Other Google Topics

Did you know that there are countries out there that have a dispute on where their border begins and ends? Yea, you know that. But did you know that Google will show different borders depending on how and where you access Google Maps?

A Google Maps Help thread has a post from Brian from the Google Maps team who explains how this works. He said:

It is Google's standard practice to show all disputed regions around the world on its global properties, such as on maps.google.com. It has been Google’s consistent and global policy to depict disputed regions as per the claims made by the disputing/claiming nations on its global properties. This does not in any way endorse or affirm the position taken by any side but merely provides complete information on the prevailing geo-political situation to our users of global properties in a dispassionate and accurate manner. Products that have been localized to the local domain of a region such as maps.google.co.in may depict that country’s position as per the mandate of their local laws.

For example, compare Google India Maps to Google Maps and you will see the border lines look a bit different. Here are screen captures:

Google Maps India, The Border:

Google Maps India Border

Google Maps US, The Border:

Google Maps in US India Border

Notice the dotted lines in the US map, how it doesn't seem sure.

Forum discussion at Google Maps Help.

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