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Updated: February 6, 2010 14:44 IST

Kerala police oppose the use of Google maps

Roy Mathew
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The Cyderbad Metropolitan Police uses Google maps to display the location of various police stations.
The Cyderbad Metropolitan Police uses Google maps to display the location of various police stations.

The Cyberabad Metropolitan Police (Andhra Pradesh) is using Google maps to provide information to the public while the police in Kerala are opposing development of high resolution maps.

This was disclosed at the Google Mapping Party, organised here on Friday to train people for community level mapping of roads, schools, hospitals and banks and important places using Google’s mapmaker service.

The Cyberabad Police displays Google maps on its Web site (http://www.cyberabadpolice.gov.in) to show the locations of various police stations in the Metropolitan area. Maps are also used to display crime and accident statistics at the level of police stations on the web site.

Satish Babu of the Kerala Mapping Team, who addressed the gathering, said that Google was responding to concerns expressed by security agencies. Google had officially said that it “...has been talking and will continue to talk to the Indian government on any security concerns it may have...” The Government of India should instruct Google on what needs to be obscured or deleted in its maps.

The Mapping Party, he said, was mostly concerned about neighbourhoods rather than ‘sensitive’ areas. It proposed to equip communities to create, edit, maintain and use maps.

Referring to concerns expressed about ownership of data generated by communities, Mr. Babu said Google’s policy was that all community-created content would be accessible by all. However, businesses could purchase the right to tag their own locations.

He added that community mappers should call upon Google to ensure community ownership of all data generated by or through community mapping.

Government officials, who had registered for the Mapping Party, did not turn up in view of the report of the intelligence wing of police against the party. However, teachers from universities and about 25 others attended. The Google sent only one of its staffers to address the Party though its initial plan was sent three persons.

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