Well, probably not – I just wanted to put a sensationalist headline once 🙂
What I’m really annoyed about is that Google Maps have no information on Israel – not cities, roads, nothing – even Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv aren’t listed. At the time, I’ve put it down to Google having no information at all for the entire region and I thought that they will probably fix this in due course.
And they did – sorta, as you can see in the screenshot below:
(From Google Maps)
I don’t mind much the fact that Google marks the “borders” of the “west-bank” and “Gaza strip”, and has special markings for the truce-lines in the Golan, or even the fact that they mark the the “border” of the golan (which was never an internationally accepted border, unlike the “border” of Gaza).
I’m talking about the complete lack of detail! They could have at least marked some major cities – Google’s map search knows where Tel-Aviv and Haifa are located if you search for them (or click the link above under the picture). And Aqaba is clearly marked on the map even though Eilat isn’t. Even Al-Qunaytriah – the abandoned Syrian city in Golan plateau – is clearly marked even though it unoccupied and in its prime was considerably smaller then other current settlements in the Israeli part of the Golan.
If you play with Google Maps for a while you’ll notice they have a wealth of information on Israel (for example, check out the “wikipedia” and “photos” layers, or just run some map searches), they simply and purposefully do not display it on their map interface. Even if I would accept lack of data in Google’s database, its surely much easier to get updated map data for Israel (the modernized technologically advanced state of Israel) then for any nearby countries – there are at least 5 providers of high-quality digitized geographic data that I’m aware of, some of which even have this data publicly available on web sites as highly detailed interactive maps.
Currently to I can’t think of any reason for this “black hole” in Google Maps, other then that the maintainers of Google Maps simply hate Israel – though I’d love to be proved wrong.