Google's geography lands it in hot water

Google has landed itself in hot water for failing to get it’s geography right.

The search giant, which clearly needs some more studying on the subject has been taken to task for wrongly depicting the Indian map on its website.

The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in), under India’s Department of IT, said that the map on Google showed certain parts of Jammu and Kashmir as part of another country. Indian law dictates that wrongful depiction of map, including the boundaries, is an offence and gives rise to issues concerning the defence, sovereignty and integrity of the country.

It has said Google is liable for action under the IT Act 2000 and asked the company to rectify this. It’s also warned that other websites which fail to show India’s international boundaries correctly could face legal action.

And Google really should have known better. An Indian commentator who preferred not to be named, told Techeye: “Jammu and Kashmir is a highly sensitive point for both India and Pakistan.

“At partition in 1947 both countries laid claim to it. This beautiful country has been the subject of countless border disputes between the two countries. Google has displayed a great deal of insensitivity in drawing borders in the state that were bound to displease either Pakistan or India.”

The Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot also told Indian paper The Hindu that he had asked CERT-in to carry out a detailed survey of the internet to find out if other websites were providing inaccurate information about the country’s international borders. “Sufficient legal provisions exist to tackle such issues and are being enforced effectively; we will not hesitate to take strict action against all such companies,” he warned.

“As use of internet is increasing everyday and students are using internet tools in their studies, it is of utmost importance that we take such issues seriously. Apart from the wrongful depiction of J&K, such errors also occur in maps of the north-eastern States,” he said.