Feeds

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

Ukrainians and everyone else ... ssssh!

Security for virtualized datacentres

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." ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.