Survey of India (SoI), India’s mapping and survey organization, claims that Google Maps is “unapproved” and “not authenticated” by the government and it doesn’t fit for high-end applications.
Swarna Subba Rao, Surveyor General of India, mentioned that Google Maps is currently used by low-end applications with a “confined” accuracy, while the Survey of India maps are used for high-engineering applications. Rao added that when it comes to authentication, Google Maps is NOT authenticated, as it hasn’t been produced by the government.
He also mentioned that if you are using Google Maps to reach a park or restaurant, even if you get 50 meters close to the place, you are fine. However, when you want to make canals or put a new railway line, you need topographic maps, as you need “very accurate, engineering quality data.”
We remind you that a senior Survey of India official has told IANS (India’s Largest Independent Newswire), that the government has no control over the information that applications like Google Earth or Google Maps put in the public domain. It seems that Google Earth has been used in the past by terrorists, as it is displaying pictures of some high-security and sensitive establishments such as the White House.
We have to agree that the terrorists are using Google Earth to access some important information about such “sensitive” places and the government should have more control about the data that Google Maps and Google Earth share with the public.
It is always nice to view places where you’ve never been, but sometimes it is better for some pictures to not be shared with the public, as important data can get into the “hands” of some terrorists. Hopefully, soon enough, Google will understand the risks it is taking with these two applications and it will finally allow the governments to have more control about the data that’s shared via them.
Are you using Google Maps or Google Earth? Tell us your thoughts about these applications!