The GOOGLE Campaign


The Google Map Campaign

What is it about?

 

Double Standardization Of National Boundaries In Google Maps: Misrepresentation Of Indian Borders

-an issue raised and campaigned by the Civilian Welfare Foundation

There is a set phrase revolving these days of laying your country in the World Map. F1 circuits, the costliest mansion on Earth queerly appear to grade us amongst the World’s elite and with so much pride. When in reality we are a country where 99 million people have zero access to drinking water and more than 626 million practicing open defecation. The healthcare facility in many small towns and villages is frightful which if improved can bolster the GDP growth by at least 1.5%.   And to make aware, this is not a socialist editorial on the frailties of private ownership of capital or the skewed dispersion of sustenance; the content herein is to rivet the right representation of geographical existence. It is about reclaiming the borders of a country which represents 16% of world population.  

 

In the first half of 2011, people dealing with several internet tools and specifically the different features of google apps like google analytics and google map chanced upon (Kunal Sarkar) a construct which was staging India’s borders incorrectly to the rest of the world.  Google is exhibiting two different maps of India in its .com and .in page. Google has been presenting the states of Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir in its .com page with dotted lines (indicating it to be disputed) but it has maintained a classic-legal Indian map on its .in page.

 

Which Organisation has the absolute sovereignty in publishing India’s maps?

Although India issued a map policy in 2005 which withdrew the restriction on public availability of maps of the Survey of India, it lays down specific guidelines for the use of maps, including licensing for the media; but in cases of misrepresentation, the Government is forced to invoke other laws, such as those relating to violations of official secrets or customs (Act) and the affirmation sustained by the then Surveyor general of India, Maj. Gen. M Gopal Rao.

 

Why shouldn’t Google’s mistake be brushed aside?

  • Most Popular Website
  • 67% of the search Engine Market share
  • More than a billion unique searchers every month
  • 187 million unique visitors to Google sites
  • 40% of web traffic dipped when Google had a 5 min outage
  • 57% smart phone users used Google maps at least once in every month since Aug'2013.

 

Hence, CWF had conducted a Signature Campaign to mobilize public opinion against the double standards of Google. The campaign was carried out in 3 phases:

Phase 1: 6th July, 2011 & 7th July, 2011  Park Street- Camac Street Junction

Phase 2 & 3: 11th August, 2011 to 15th August 2011 Salt Lake, Sector 5 (in front of Infinity Building) and Outside South City Mall

Impact of the Event:

 

First apolitical/ secular protest on boundaries.

Over 10 thousand signatures sent across to the Foreign Ministry as well the CEO of Google

National Dailies like Hindustan Times covered the entire campaign.