Google Maps shows Azad Kashmir as Indian territory in latest gaffe

Published: August 16, 2016
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PHOTO: SCREENGRAB/GOOGLEMAPS

PHOTO: SCREENGRAB/GOOGLEMAPS

Google Maps is perhaps the most widely used web mapping service, which explains why a faux pas on their part is not something to be taken lightly.

Google updated its mapping service last month to use new high- resolution imagery. However, it made errors when it came to distinguishing borders between countries. We saw outrage from Palestinians last week, when the tech giant allegedly erased Palestine from its maps and designated all its territory as Israel.

Now, Google Maps has made another blunder by showing major parts of Pakistan as Indian territory. The Indian version of the service shows Azad Kashmir as part of Indian-occupied Kashmir. Furthermore, it places parts of China’s Hotan County under Indian control.

This version of the map is available when you access the mapping service through its Indian domain ‘co.in’. However, in the international version of Google Maps (the one which Pakistanis get), the whole area is shown in dotted lines.

PHOTO: SCREENGRAB/GOOGLEMAPS

The map is also erroneous as it situates Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, close to the border and shows the K-2 and Nanga Parbat peaks as being located in India. Furthermore, the mapping service is also incorrect when it comes to the international version which we get to use. Google Maps shows Azad Kashmir as disputed territory demarcated with dotted lines.

Whether it’s a mistake on part of Google or a business decision to please India we will know for sure once Google releases an official statement. Since Google does not have a registered office in Pakistan, they are not obligated to show Pakistani controlled Kashmir as part of Pakistan. The Indian version of the Google Maps can be seen here.

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Reader Comments (30)

  • roadkashehzada
    Aug 16, 2016 - 12:44PM

    may be depends on the country from where google maps are accessed to accomodate new indian rules. from mideast, azad kashmir and GB are still shown separatelyRecommend

  • Mozart
    Aug 16, 2016 - 1:02PM

    Wishful thinking of international establishment.Recommend

  • RK Indian
    Aug 16, 2016 - 1:26PM

    it happens only in India.. it should be happened in realityRecommend

  • hasnainkhattak
    Aug 16, 2016 - 1:27PM

    Let me add futher for readers knowledge. angor adda is shown in pakistan in international version while from news we get the information that it has been handed over to afghanistan.

    But i dont understand reason for dharing such knowledge. maps are incorrect for variety of reason and wrong information feeded to them by social media and individuals. It doesnt matter in maps till physically its controlled by Pakistan or china.

    There are many other things where we should be utilising our energies.Recommend

  • Aug 16, 2016 - 1:46PM

    You should know that CEO of GOOGLE is an Indian American.Recommend

  • HBK
    Aug 16, 2016 - 1:48PM

    Pakistanis must boycott GoogleRecommend

  • Asif
    Aug 16, 2016 - 1:52PM

    No they haven’t I just checked it and Azad Kashmir is still in Pakistan Territory :) Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Aug 16, 2016 - 2:08PM

    @hasnainkhattak:
    Dear, Angoor Adda that has been handed over to Afghanistan is Angoor Adda Checkpost. Angoor Adda as in the village or the area is still under Pakistani control. A checkpost called Angoor Adda was handed oever to Afghanistan. Recommend

  • dj
    Aug 16, 2016 - 2:31PM

    Google should admit its fault and coorect map otherwise we boycott itRecommend

  • Menon
    Aug 16, 2016 - 3:11PM

    As Kashmir always have been since the beginning of time.

    Pakistan is an artificial creation by a colonial power and Islam is a religion founded by uncivilized and cruel neanderthal wandering the desert and followed the same kind calling themselves human beings.Recommend

  • AI
    Aug 16, 2016 - 3:35PM

    It is an extremely irresponsible move on part of google.
    Its’ map service and search is most widely used all over the world. If for the business or whatever bias, they are going to wrongly depict an internationally accepted disputed territory to 1.25 billion people of India as their integtral part, they are mischievously meddling in politics of two nuclear armed adversaries and are taking side against oppressed people of Kashmir… Infact this vicious propaganda and extremist conspiracy should be reported to UN as well as google executives be approached legally in United States for this serious misdeed.Recommend

  • Abhijeet
    Aug 16, 2016 - 3:37PM

    Bing and Here.com also showing the Indian versionRecommend

  • Rana Usman
    Aug 16, 2016 - 3:38PM

    @hasnainkhattak:
    Only Angoor Adda check post handed over to Afghanistan not complete area! Recommend

  • Abdur Rahman
    Aug 16, 2016 - 3:58PM

    Hahaha…. I remember reading an article by some Indian author bragging about Google having so and so much Indians and its employees and being on so and so positions in Google. Well, here is the natural outcome. Besides, this also shows the extremist thinking of the Indians in general that to appease their masses they can tell blatant lies with impunity. And worse is that education and working in an international environment could not change their behavior. Pity!Recommend

  • Aug 16, 2016 - 5:27PM

    @Abdur Rahman:

    Please read the UNSC Resolutions. Pakistan is in violation of it.

    Just because India is not in control of that territory doesn’t mean it isn’t India’s. India has the instrument of accession signed by the Maharaja. UN Resolution has asked Pakistan to get out of PoK.

    Please Google it(how ironical).

    You guys don’t control large parts of Baluchistan and FATA, does that mean Google maps should show it isn’t part of Pakistan?Recommend

  • kartikey
    Aug 16, 2016 - 5:42PM

    Pakistan should ban on google just like youtube….Recommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Aug 16, 2016 - 5:49PM

    I personally feel Pak should take care of its existing territory equally properly then go around claiming other territories as their own. Recommend

  • Anwar Hayat
    Aug 16, 2016 - 5:53PM

    This version is only seen on the Google India, Bing India etc so they don’t hurt the fragile minds of Indians when it comes to there fantasy maps.

    The rest of the world shows Kashmir as disputed territory. And even more hilarious, Bing Maps Pakistan shows all of Kashmir as part of Pakistan.Recommend

  • ajeet
    Aug 16, 2016 - 6:06PM

    My salute to Sundar Pitchai of Google Recommend

  • Khan
    Aug 16, 2016 - 6:30PM

    It’s most probably was done by INDIAN cheap worker. INDIANS are the ones who still think they have border with Afghanistan.Recommend

  • Okay
    Aug 16, 2016 - 6:33PM

    Please boycott Google.
    So please google the steps to boycott Google.Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Aug 16, 2016 - 7:48PM

    God knows everything and Google knows almost everything. Recommend

  • dave
    Aug 16, 2016 - 8:09PM

    Pakistan should stop using Google and support China’s Baidu.Recommend

  • HudaFier
    Aug 16, 2016 - 11:00PM

    It has nothing do with Google CEO or anything … it is just a marketing Decision … Google Map Indian Domain is targeted to Indian audience & For years, Google Maps used to highlight the territories of Jammu & Kashmir, along with Arunachal Pradesh in dotted lines, in order to signify that the region is disputed.

    However, last year the new circular issued by Narendra Modi government warning penal action against any organization which disseminates an Indian map, which is contrary to the one officially circulated by the Union, google altered the indian Domain Map .. so NOT to loose Indian Business and Revenue and to avoid paying penalty and jail sentence it caved into indian pressure, (also look into case of Al jazeera)

    For all those indians happy over this development .. Official UN World Maps, CIA Fact Book, and Tens of Google Domain still show the area as disputed.

    India Good in winning wars in Bollywood, while for ground reality Pakistan have 5 out of 14 Highest Peak with india got none except one sharing with Nepal..

    Talk about Reality lets Race to K2 Basecamp … lets see who make it ;)Recommend

  • Abid Nasim
    Aug 17, 2016 - 12:53AM

    For all Indian wish full thinkers, please try and travel to GB without having passport using Google Map serviceRecommend

  • Auginpk
    Aug 17, 2016 - 9:05AM

    Good work by Google.Recommend

  • Aatf
    Aug 17, 2016 - 6:00PM

    Whom do they try to please? Same blunder about Palestine few weeks ago.
    Tech companies should at least remain neutral otherwise politics will get into every technical forum the result should is obvious.Recommend

  • MW
    Aug 17, 2016 - 9:41PM

    its the media, changing the minds and thinking of people’s unconsciously. you cant imagine your youngers will accept it as they are used to, and then they also talk about it….Recommend

  • SumR
    Aug 26, 2016 - 10:14PM

    I’m just saying, but if it were India whose borders were mis-marked, we’d be in war.

    Pak just gets beaten down by media all the time so this is taken as a “mistake”.

    But if a Pakistani man ran Google and “accidentally ” allowed such a slip-up, he’d have been thrown into a sewer.

    Keep your chin up, guys. Proud to be Pakistani, not a terrorist. Recommend

  • Allaisa
    Dec 16, 2016 - 7:14AM

    That is no gaffe. That is the true representation.Recommend

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