Feeds

Rejoice, Russians! The annexation of Crimea is complete and legitimate – Google Maps proves it

Ukrainians and everyone else ... ssssh!

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Google appears to have sided with Vladimir Putin in the current sovereignty dispute over the Crimean Peninsula – at least as far as residents of Russia are concerned.

The online ad giant has made an update to its Google Maps of the region that denotes the border between Crimea and Ukraine as a bold, black line – seemingly indicating that we should no longer think of the peninsula as part of the Ukraine.

The catch is that the "corrected" map is only visible when you visit maps.google.ru.

When you visit Google Maps from most other regions of the world, you'll see a different version of the same map, one in which the Crimea-Ukraine border is delineated with a bold but dotted line, indicating its disputed status.

The Independent newspaper was the first to spot the change and suggested it was the result of direct pressure from the Putin administration.

Screenshot of Crimea as seen on Google Maps Russia

In Russia, at least, Google Maps has drawn a hard line between Crimea and Ukraine (click to enlarge)

According to a report in the English-language Moscow Times newspaper in March, Anatoly Sidyakin, a politician in the lower house of the Russian Federal Assembly, asked the Federal Mass Media Inspection Service to "evaluate" foreign websites – including Google Maps, Bing Maps, and Wikipedia, among others – for labeling Crimea as disputed territory.

Screenshot of Crimea as seen on Google Maps US

Online cartophiles in the rest of the world, however, see a different picture (click to enlarge)

At the time, Russian search engine Yandex had reportedly already "decided" to show Crimea as part of Russia for Russian visitors, although it still showed it as Ukrainian territory to Ukrainians.

In the past, the Mass Media Inspection Service has blocked sites that contain what it deems objectionable material, including "calls for unsanctioned acts of protest," often without warning.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Google Maps said, "Google Maps makes every effort to depict disputed regions and features objectively. Our Maps product reflects border disputes, where applicable. Where we have local versions, we follow local regulations for naming and borders." ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.