Google Doesn't Draw Borders Around 31 Countries

Google doesn't like conflict, which may be why Google Maps doesn't display borders on 31 countries, according to a report.

The report came about because Google Maps often "geo-highlights" borders around a country or other region, except on 31 countries whose borders are in dispute, according to Quartz. The countries may also be in the middle of civil conflict. Quartz used Brazil, which had very definite red highlighted borders, and compared it to new country South Sudan, which had no such highlighting.

However, India, a country with known borders, was similarly bereft of red lines, likely because of its dispute over Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. A Google representative told Quartz that the company uses "multiple resources to decide how to depict political areas."

Google could not be reached for comment by Press:Here.

While to many a map may just be facts, it hearkens back to the idea that everything is political, even the lines on a map. By publishing a country map with definite borders, Google and other cartographers are taking a political stand -- sometimes taking sides in a border dispute or civil war. In those circumstances, perhaps Google's stand is to be apolitical -- in others, perhaps not giving a country boundaries is also a political statement.

The list of 31 countries, according to the Quartz article:
  • Albania
  • Bhutan
  • China
  • Cyprus
  • North Korea
  • Egypt
  • Georgia
  • India
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Nauru
  • Pakistan
  • Palestine
  • Philippines
  • South Korea
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Macedonia
  • Ukraine
  • Tanzania
  • Vanuatu
  • Vietnam
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