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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

More on Google Earth

I posted on the misinformation contained on the Google Earth site last week, and received some comments arguing with my characterization of the story as an outrageous one. I do agree with some of my commenters that the misinformation, as entered by the interactive site's users are upsetting but fair game. However, this aspect of the story is far more troubling:
While Jerusalem serves as Israel's capital, and the Temple Mount is located within Israeli sovereignty, the popular satellite map program Google Earth divides the city and places the Mount – Judaism's holiest site – within Palestinian territory.

Interactive Google Earth maps mark eastern sections of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount as "occupied territory," set to become part of a future Palestinian state.

Google Earth states it demarcates its maps according to international standards, but no Israeli-Palestinian negotiations – even the failed Camp David final-status negotiations in 2000 – ever placed the Temple Mount within Palestinian territory.

The United Nations considers eastern sections of Jerusalem, recaptured by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War, to be "disputed." The Israeli Knesset officially annexed the entire city of Jerusalem as its capital in 1980.
In my opinion, borders drawn in such an egregiously incorrect manner, on the part of the siteowners, are nothing short of outrageous.

Google's response:
Referring to Google erroneously labeling the Gaza Strip as occupied, the spokeswoman said, "Borders and place names are not always updated straightaway. Occasionally there are discrepancies. We are happy to receive feedback and will pass it on to the Google Earth team and take the necessary steps."
Let's see how long it takes for Google to take the "necessary steps". I'll keep you posted.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems like the best way to fix this is to have people update the site with lots of Jewish history information linked to locations all over Israel.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Azamat said...

Anon 10:42, while agree with your overall assessment that the best way to correct misinformation is to supplement factual information alongside, I do not think that this approach would be effective in this case.
I went to Google Earth and what I saw there was appalling. Put simply, the entire region on this map has been hijacked (pun intended) by left-wing liberal extremists and their Muslim terrorist allies. The information posted is full of the most vile anti-Israel and anti-semetic vitriol and hate. Every kooky conspiracy (like the Jews are stealing all the water) is posted there, along with one-sided propaganda websites with information and video depicting "The Settlers" as the epitome of evil - preying on helpless, defenseless, innocent Arabs who are just trying to mind their own business. (For the record, I am not suggesting that there are no bad settlers or that there are no innocent Arabs, only that the one-sided story is nauseating and very disingenuous).
Anon, when you are dealing with such a highly charged emotional issue such as this, you can’t merely supplement the lies and hate by putting “the facts” alongside. While this would certainly help, in a way it almost legitimizes the hate speech – this is one valid opinion and here is the other side. When it’s so off the mark and so vicious as the content that is there now, it must be stamped out – completely removed. I feel like a communist saying that because I am very pro an open forum and allowing people to express opinions, even if I don’t like the opinion – but in this case, we are dealing with a MAP – the people running this should, above all, try to maintain it’s neutrality and remain apolitical.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

FWIW, I don't think there are any countries in the world that have recognized the the State of Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem (or the Golan, for that matter). The United States does not even recognize *West* Jerusalem as part of Israel -- US Citizens born in *West* Jerusalem can not have "Israel" on their passports. And the last two countries to have their embassies in Jerusalem are moving them out of the city. So I would not blame Google for this.

They should, however, fix the problem with Gaza.

A better test would be the status of Shaba Farms. If Google says that it is part of Lebanon, then we have a right to scream -- loudly.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Tzipporah said...

hmm - I had to laugh at the comment that a MAP should be APOLITICAL - unless it's showing only natural features, the whole point of a map is to denote political borders, controversies, claims, etc. :)

3:29 PM  
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I have gone through website it is very tremendous and helps us to view the world on our PC.recently i had gone through the similar website and i got more information that i had been looking for google earth

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