Google Explains Georgia Map Blank


Web User

August 13, 2008

Anyone looking on Google Maps at Georgia in recent days for further
information about the conflict with Russia in the past few days will
have drawn a blank.

Google Maps doesn’t currently display cities or roads in Georgia or
its neighbours Azerbaijan and Armenia, for the simple reason that
the data Google has isn’t good enough, the company explained.

"We never launched coverage in those countries because we simply
weren’t satisfied with the map data we had available," said Dave
Barth of Google.

"We’re constantly searching for the best map data we can find, and
sometimes will delay launching coverage in a country if we think we
can get more comprehensive data," Barth continued.

However, feedback the company has received about the blank maps has
caused Google to have a rethink.

"We’re hearing from our users that they would rather see even very
basic coverage of a country than see nothing at all. That certainly
makes sense, and so we have started preparing data for the handful
of countries that are still blank on Google Maps," said Barth.

Georgia has recently committed itself to a truce in its hostilities
with Russia over the disputed South Ossetia region.

However, Georgia said that it had suffered attacks on its web
infrastructure, meaning key websites were inaccessible to surfers
for several days.

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