This land is my land, this land is my land…

The alternative to the Google Earth way of portraying territories, where one “namespace” covers the entire globe and you either love the lay of the land or you don’t, is to make your own.

Hence the aptly named MapmyIndia, a year-old site pointed at by blog POV. It appears to be marketing itself as an India-centric alternative to the global mapping services, and it does indeed provide street-level maps of Indian cities, which others don’t.

Unfortunately, it might also just get you killed.

MmI-Kashmir.gif

In the map above, there is no sign of the Line of Control, the de facto border between India and Pakistan in Kashmir — as far as MapmyIndia is concerned, Gilgit and the Hunza valley are firmly under Indian control, just a hop and a skip away from Srinagar. Unbeknownst to the MapmyIndia user, that stroll to Gilgit would take you across the world’s highest war zone, where both sides shoot first and apportion blame later.

mapq-kashmir.gif

So MapmyIndia is a nice patriotic tool, though at the cost of forgoing the first duty of maps, which is to inform. It comes courtesy of CE Info Systems, who are “at the forefront of GIS development in India”, and who thus should know better. All we need now is the Pakistani equivalent, so that we can have a whole new breed of mashups — mapfights!

5 thoughts on “This land is my land, this land is my land…”

  1. Hi,

    Thank you for your post on MapmyIndia. MapmyIndia has been created by an Indian organization, and the map of Kashmir represents the Government of India’s stand and claim on Kashmir. You are correct that a portion of Kashmir is occupied by Pakistan, but the Government of India claims this is still a part of India. We are following the stand of our Government, and hence I would request you to reconsider and rephrase your statements regarding the MapmyIndia maps of Kashmir.

    Thanks and Warm Regards,

    Ogleearth is a wonderful resource on GIS, keep up the great work!

    Rohan Verma (of the MapmyIndia team)

  2. Hi Rohan,

    While I myself have no patience for nationalism of any stripe, I understand that it is important to a great many people, and I don’t expect a patriotic company to be neutral when it comes to depicting competing claims on a map. But I think MapmyIndia goes beyond the call of duty when it doesn’t even mention that there are competing claims, nor mention that India does not currently control all of Kashmir, nor that there is a defacto border at the Line of Control. These facts are essential to the usefulness of any map of ther region. Could you imagine military maps where the LOC was missing? — it would be a disaster. That’s why maps that don’t manage to show the situation on the ground accurately, irrespective of normative claims, are reduced to propaganda tools.

  3. MapmyIndia v-2007 is just like Google Maps/Yahoo Maps. In fact, even better, MapmyIndia is focused on India. Visit http://www.mapmyindia.com today.

    If you want to see your house on a map (the street actually), visit MapmyIndia (http://www.mapmyindia.com)

    This is an Indian company’s initiative at creating an internet map site that will come up and do as much as Google and Mapquest has done. We’re also adding an Indian twist to the things we do. Check out this concept called ‘eLocation’ MapmyIndia has introduced.

    eLocation allows you to get maps and directions to a peron’s place, and the cool thing is that it gives you the directions in the words of that person (take a left after you see a panwallah, go inside that gate…u know, how people explani directions in India).

    Search for this sample elocation and you’ll see what I mean. The id is: mapmyindia

    Looking forward to your comments on the blog or through mail (my email address is: [email protected])

    Thanks and hope you can enjoy India in much much more detail =)

    Shashi Prakash (on behalf of the MapmyIndia team)

  4. Hi

    Hope this piece of mail finds you all very well. You need to be true and accurately informative when maping out certain locations. Kashmir itself is a disputed area and by no means Hunza( the area I am hailing from)at a distance of almost 1200 Kms away form Srinagar, has never been under colonial system. Neither Hundu Maharaj could enjoy the triumph by claiming access nor the present Pakistani Kashmir would dare to include us in Kashmir administration. By claiming this region apparently to be part of Indian Kashmir in your maps,you are making a very big mistake thus distorting the whole face of geography. To dream is free. But to have it the Indian Part you need to face the Northern Light Infantry(Regiment)’s gallant soldiers like my grand father and father who served the Pak Army.

    Dr Zeib

  5. Hi

    Hope this piece of mail finds you all very well. You need to be true and accurately informative when maping out certain locations. Kashmir itself is a disputed area and by all means Hunza( the area I am hailing from)at a distance of almost 1200 Kms away form Srinagar, has never been under colonial system. Neither Hundu Maharaj could enjoy the triumph by claiming access nor the present Pakistani Kashmir would dare to include us in Kashmir administration. By claiming this region apparently to be part of Indian Kashmir in your maps,you are making a very big mistake thus distorting the whole face of geography. To dream is free. But to have it the Indian Part you need to face the Northern Light Infantry(Regiment)’s gallant soldiers like my grand father and father who served the Pak Army.

    Dr Zeib

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