Earlier this week, as part of a routine update to Google Earth, we published new data for the Arunachal Pradesh region that changed the depiction of certain place names in the product. The change was a result of a mistake in our processing of new map data .We are in the process of reverting the data to its previous state, and expect the change to be visible in the product shortly. We would like to clarify that this issue did not impact our depiction of international borders.
Another interesting comment on the controversy
Google Ditu (“Google Maps”) was released to the public on February 9, 2007, and replaced the old Google Bendi (“Google Local”). This is the Chinese localized version of Google Maps and Google Local services.
There are some differences in frontier alignments between Google Ditu and Google Maps. On Google Maps, sections of the Chinese border with India and Pakistan are shown with dotted lines, indicating areas or frontiers in dispute. However, Google Ditu shows the Chinese frontier strictly according to Chinese claims with no dotted lines indicating the border with India and Pakistan. For example, the area now administered by India called Arunachal Pradesh (referred to as “South Tibet” by China) is shown inside the Chinese frontier by Google Ditu, with Indian highways ending abruptly at the Chinese claim line. Google Ditu also shows Taiwan and the South China Sea Islands as part of China. As of May 2009, Google Ditu’s street map coverage of Taiwan also omits major state organs, such as the Presidential Palace, the five Yuans, and the Supreme Court.
There are some differences between ditu.google.cn and ditu.google.com. For example, the former does not feature My Maps. On the other hand, while the former displays virtually all text in Chinese, the latter displays most text (user-selectable real text as well as those on map) in English. Worthy of note is the oddity that this behavior of displaying English text is not consistent but intermittent – sometimes it is in English, sometimes it is in Chinese. The criteria for choosing which language is displayed is not known.