Google Goofs Up in Arunachal Pradesh

Stefan has the definitive account of what happens when Google Maps touches what has to be the live rail of cartography — erroneously publishing Chinese names of communities on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control in the disputed Arunachal Pradesh. The usual Indian reaction ensues, and Google quickly corrects it, blaming an error in data processing.

The trick is that both China and India make it an offence to publish maps with the “wrong” borders, and they happen to share an awful lot of border that has been contested for nearly 50 years. (Google has to serve different boundaries to their respective map sites.)

Stefan also shows how Google shows disputed claims and lines of control in Google Earth: red for disputed boundaries, orange for lines of control.