Google Maps marks Kashmir as “disputed” for people outside India



Kashmiri villagers gather near a damaged house in which three militants were killed including top Hizb militant commander Lateef Tiger in Shopian district of south Kashmir. Photograph by Bhat Burhan

Srinagar: Google Maps suggests Kashmir as “disputed” for people outside the country as the outlines of the region are shown in dotted line, The Washington Post reported.

However the same maps shows Kashmir as part of India — as long as you view it from within the borders of India.

And it is not just Kashmir. Borders of several countries look different on Google Maps depending on where people view them from, said the report on Friday.

This is because Google as well as other online map makers change them.

According to Google, it follows local legislation wherever local versions of Google Maps are available.

“Our goal is always to provide the most comprehensive and accurate map possible based on ground truth,” Ethan Russell, Director of Product Management for Google Maps, was quoted as saying in a statement by The Post.

“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. In countries where we have local versions of Google Maps, we follow local legislation when displaying names and borders,” Russell added.

While Google dominates the mobile maps market, Apple Maps comes second in terms of popularity.

An Apple spokeswoman told The Washington Post that the iPhone maker is responsive to local laws with respect to border and place name labelling.


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