Google Upgrades Maps. Gifts Arunachal Pradesh to China

Google has launched the latest version of maps keeping country boundaries in mind and while the company calls it significant improvements to borders for over 60 countries and regions, the earlier issue (Google Shows Different Maps to Indians and Chinese [Arunachal Pradesh Controversy]) has cropped up once again.

In the case of geopolitical features on our maps, the depiction of borders is something upon which local authorities, governments and internationally recognized bodies often disagree. Our goal is to provide the most legible and accurate maps we can given the information available in these oft-changing areas of geopolitical disagreement. Like most maps, ours include symbology that makes borders and other geopolitical features clearer to users.

In some areas we have improved our qualitative accuracy by changing the symbology of the boundary lines to reflect the updated status of a treaty or agreement based on political changes, new agreements or negotiations. – official blog

Kashmir &  Arunachal Pradesh Controversy

Look at this map. While there hasn’t been any political change in India’s stand on Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh, Google shows both the states as disputed regions.

The India version ( doesn’t shows this “dispute” while international version ( shows the dispute – and seems Google China site  [] shows AP as part of China!


Last time when similar incident happened, Google apologized/clarified citing the update as a mistake in their data processing.

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.

Seems like the error in data processing is part of their ‘batch processing’ mistakes?

Or an attempt to please Chinese government [J&K dispute is well understood and most of the international news sites shows J&K as disputed area, but not Arunachal Pradesh].

What’s your take?

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