Google Maps could show political borders based on geographical location

Google Maps could show political borders based on geographical location
Apple and Google were in the middle of a controversy late last year when both companies yielded to Russia's demands to show Crimea, a territory it annexed in 2014, as being Russian soil. Both Apple and Google Maps apps now show locations in Crimea as being part of Russia, but that highly depends on the location of the viewer.

For example, if you're checking the map of Crimea from the US, both Maps apps display the territory as neither Russian nor Ukrainian. However, when seen from Russia, Crimea is shown as part of this country, a move made by Google and Apple so that their apps would remain in compliance with the requirements of the Russian legislation.

Well, it looks like Google Maps has taken these political issues more serious and has even created a dedicated team of employees called “disputed regions team” that handles these problems, reports CNET citing Washington Post. Ethan Russell, director of product management for Google Maps, explained the role of this team and how his company tackles these sensitive matters:


A good example of how Google Maps will show political borders based on geographical location is Kashmir, a region disputed by India and Pakistan for almost four decades. Google Maps users in Pakistan and the rest of the countries will see the borders drawn as a dotted line, a sign that the territory is being disputed between two or more countries.

However, Google Maps users in India will see a solid line that shows Kashmir as part of their country, The Washington Post writes. The same goes for the Sea of Japan, which separates Japan and South Korea. People in South Korea will see it in their Maps app as East Sea, while the rest of world will see it as Sea of Japan.

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