India protests Kashmir depiction in Google Earth

Via The Map Room (via Geocarta), It’s the Indian government’s turn to protest using the Line of Control as the defacto border between Pakistan and India in Kashmir. Previously, this complaint has been made by the odd blogger. The Times of India article points out:

The political map of the subcontinent in Google Earth shows the region that India calls Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, or PoK, and Pakistan calls it ‘Azad (free) Kashmir’, as being a part of Pakistani territory.

But Google also shows the India-occupied portion of Kashmir as being part of India. The government of India might want to be careful what it wishes for, as any objective depiction that disaggregates Pakistan-controlled Kashmir would also need to disaggregate India-controlled Kashmir. I’m sure that’s not what they’re looking for. In fact, I’m sure this is just another bout of cheap patriotic positioning. Cheap, because bashing Google carries no repercussions.

I still think the solution is for Google to outsource these kinds of calls to National Geographic.

6 thoughts on “India protests Kashmir depiction in Google Earth”

  1. I could think of about a billion things that the government of India should be more concerned about.

  2. I do not believe that Google should outsource anything. I do agree that Kasmir should not be under Pakistan or India. It should be free as it once was.

  3. I don’t believe Google should listen to the rubbish claim of India about J&K as its part. J&K was never and will never be a part of India nor Pakistan. In fact J&K has been Trifurcated b/w India, China & Pakistan. They have distributed my Homeland as a Pizza in three portions; Majority 55% with India, 35% with Pakistan and 10% with China. It was independent and God willing it is soon going to be Independent country and i’ll try to be the first to report to GOOGLE to add J&K as an Independent country.

    Indians and Pakistani’s please refrain from including my Birth place of your Mothers dowry.

  4. India is not wrong over claiming that Pok still belongs to India,It has been an Indian province and will always remian to be we have not given it still to Pakistan and rightfully it is India’s

  5. The comments above refer to an article that inaccurately describes the situation. Google shows borders of many classes: the ones where governments on both sides and the international community agree about the line, some where one side disagrees, and a few where nobody agrees; we also show other “effective” borders such as “where the army is lined up” (de jour), “what people are treating as the border for quite some time” (de facto), and “what ‘border’ is defined by a treaty still in force.”

    Different colors (stylings) are used to show these classes of borders, and of course, the accuracy of map-derived source data (borders) does not exactly match the ground truth.

    In the case of Pakistan and India, with Pakistan to the west, there are three “borders” to be seen: the westernmost, which is India’s official view, the easternmost, which is Pakistan’s official view, and the centrally-located orange line that follows the 1972 Simla Line of Control, the treaty line separating the two countries in the area for some 35 years.

    No line on a map — however well-researched or accurately drawn — should be interpreted to mean that every person on either side agrees with the line. The border lines mean simply that these are the borders as defined by international treaty. We see it as Google’s job to accurately relay all of these borders in an understandable spatial context so that everyone can understand what is meant by the debate. This is what we do.

    Every now and then a reporter, politician, blogger, or public comment discusses with anger an “extra” border matching the claim of a neighbor country while ignoring their own “extra” border. I personally think that their outrage measures their world view and maturity, not Google’s accuracy or honesty.

  6. Unsurprisingly, it is not just Google Earth but all major map providers. This is exactly the kind of thing that annoys me, so I went ahead and built a ‘correct’ version of the map and have released it in the public domain.

    Surprisingly, there does not seem to be any other version of the map that is editable and created with thin boundaries so it is easy to color fill. Even the one on wikipedia shows India almost like the Chinese version you show here.

    Here is my link to the Indian version of India’s map.


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