India’s mapping and survey organisation, Survey of India (SoI), is asking Indians to switch to their service from Google Maps, as it is “not authenticated” and “unapproved” by the government.
“We are asking Indians to use maps produced by Survey of India and not those developed by foreign companies,” Surveyor General of India Swarna Subba Rao said at the 250th anniversary of the Survey of India held in New Delhi. “If you talk about the authentication, the Google Maps is not authenticated. It has not been produced by the government of India, so they aren’t authenticated,” he added.
According to SoI, Google Maps services are widely used by Indians to located restaurants and parks only, but they are “unreliable” for serious applications. “We have to put new railway lines, make canals that is where our topographic maps come in, when you require very accurate, engineering quality data.”
Back in 2010, Google faced criticism for showing Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh as ‘disputed territories’ and not as integral part of the country on Google Maps, and was notified on showing Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) as part of Pakistan by the Indian government. Google soon fixed the issues.
The government does not have control over the information uploaded on Google Maps and Google Earth. According to SoI, there should be some government control over these applications to avoid glitches in future.