Update: A Google spokesperson has told Medianama that they “follow country laws for naming and borders on country localized maps where available, such as the India version: maps.google.co.in.” The spokesperson also said that “it is Google’s standard practice to show all disputed regions around the world on its global properties, such as on maps.google.com. Our global Maps product reflects border disputes, where applicable, in a way that does not endorse or affirm the position taken by any side.”
Earlier today: The official survey and mapping organisation in India Survey of India (SOI) has filed a case against Google for alleged misrepresentation of actual coordinates of Indian boundaries, reports The Times of India. A senior official of the SOI told the publication that the faulty coordinates were noticed in Jammu & Kashmir and northern part of India.
The complaint has been lodged in a Dehradun police station and has apparently been handed over to the cyber cell team to validate authenticity of the complaint and to conduct further investigations.
We have written to Google to find out if they have received any official communication from the SOI or the police, and will update the story once we hear back.
Mapathon case: Last year in April, SOI had filed a complaint with the Delhi Police against Google for hosting its Mapathon contest, which encourages Indians to add information to maps, after SOI noticed several mapped coordinates of sensitive defence installations that aren’t supposed to available in the public domain. SOI’s complaint also mentioned that Mapathon violated the national map policy, as per which the responsibility for producing, maintaining and disseminating the topographic map database lies with the SOI. Earlier this year, the Mapathon case was taken over by CBI’s cyber security cell as it had the requisite expertise and pan-India purview, something the Delhi police didn’t.
Google’s past troubles
This isn’t the first time that Google has had a run in with the Indian government. In July 2011, Google was forced to stop collecting street level imagery in Bangalore after it received a letter from the Commissioner of Police. Assistant Commissioner of the Bangalore Police T Sunil had later said that Google had failed to get clearances from the Central Government, and Ministry of Defence.
Last year, Google relaunched Street View in India with only private properties likes resorts, building complexes, etc listed. Google also added 30 heritage sites like Taj Mahal, etc to Street View in February this year, and a further 76 in August.
Earlier this year, the Competition Commission of India had fined Google Rs 1 crore for failing to comply with directives given by the Director General seeking information and documents. At the time, Google had told Medianama that it was cooperating with CCI.