Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Over 1,000 websites feature “problem maps”

According to an article in today’s Beijing News, as part of a recent drive to correct “geographical information,” authorities in Beijing have found that over 1,000 websites contain maps with “bits left out” or “incorrect bits.”

Approximately 10,000 websites were reviewed, including large Chinese sites like Sina and Netease. Most of the 1,000 problem websites were identified because of irregularities relating to Chinese territory.

The article goes only some way to clarify the vague terms used, saying that in some cases, Chinese territory, including the disputed Diaoyu Islands and Taiwan, had been marked as being outside of China. In other cases, “state secrets” had been divulged.

Various departments, including the Beijing planning authority and the Ministry of Commerce, will form a joint taskforce to audit the sites. According to a government official quoted by the newspaper, websites will be dealt with according to nature of the irregularities., with the most serious violators being shut down.


wfrost said...

Great post. I would love to see the rankings of the most serious violations. What is an acceptable level of geographic incorrectness?

Alex said...

What complete bollocks. Not your post, the reason given.

China extremely highly regulates it's maps on the Internet. And not really even it's maps, maps of it.
Any maps of China with an open API have to be offset(?!) and have to be degraded. Google Satellite mapping is OK since it is sourced from overseas, but go to an embedded Google Map and switch between satellite and map view - the map's GPS co-ordinates are offset. While different licences are available, it's pretty common knowledge in the local geo community that only purely domestic companies are permitted license access to the most detailed (minor city Hu Tongs, country tracks) mapping. Domestic copies of Google Street View are heavily monitored an censored.

China doesn't even make available Shapefiles of any modern value! What's up with that?!

Just amazed there's no WTO case yet. It's a major impediment to any kind of serious statistical, businesses, social, or grass roots analysis of China. Maybe that's the point?!