Whose (Google) Earth?

/ 9 April 2008

An interesting post on the Google blog about the naming of bodies of water.

Disputes over place names and territorial borders exist in nearly every region, and constitute some of the most emotionally charged geopolitical issues in the world today. Since we launched Google Earth in 2004, we have done our best to anticipate these controversies and to address them in a principled, rigorous, and consistent way.

The posting goes on to explain Google’s primary local usage policy for naming bodies of water, which often are referred to differently by their bordering populations. A thoughtful approach.

If you mostly use Google Earth to tour the sights of the world, take a moment for the UNHCR’s tour of refugee camps.

Highlighted are not only the physical area of the camp and surrounding country, but key parts of daily life such as education and health in photo, text and video format. Within seconds, Google Earth brings the daily life of a refugee camp into your home thousands of kilometres away.

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