Map World: Online Maps for China

China’s State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping unleashed its own online mapping service Thursday. Map World is presumably kosher insofar as Chinese mapping restrictions are concerned. It has both maps and satellite/aerial imagery, though the map’s design is rather ugly by 2010 standards. “Map World only provides high-altitude images outside China, with the other side of the Chinese-North Korean border a stark white blank once a certain resolution is passed. Other countries also turn up a blank page at close resolution,” says Reuters. That goes for both maps and imagery. “Taiwan, which China claims as a renegade province, cannot be viewed at the same resolution as the mainland,” the article adds. Via @ogleearth.

Update, 10/22: Ogle Earth has some early observations: “Overall, Map World feels quite robust, far more so than the France’s GeoPortail and India’s Bhuvan at launch.”