Sinosphere Blog: Google Maps Changes Name on Disputed South China Sea Shoal

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PhotoA Filipino businessman, Mel Velarde, indicating to a reproduction of a 1734 map he bought during auction in London that shows Scarborough Shoal as partial of Philippine domain underneath Spanish rule. The Philippine supervision requested copies of chronological maps for a settlement box opposite China in The Hague.
A Filipino businessman, Mel Velarde, indicating to a reproduction of a 1734 map he bought during auction in London that shows Scarborough Shoal as partial of Philippine domain underneath Spanish rule. The Philippine supervision requested copies of chronological maps for a settlement box opposite China in The Hague.Credit Romeo Ranoco/Reuters

The bank has no uninformed water, tellurian race or even any land to pronounce of — a top indicate is reduction than 6 feet above H2O during high tide. But it has mixed claimants, and they have given it many names: Scarborough Shoal, Huangyan Island, Democracy Reef, Panatag Shoal and Bajo de Masinloc.

It is in a South China Sea (or a East Sea or a West Philippine Sea), where a names are even some-more many than a rocks, and also perilous. After Google Maps forsaken Scarborough Shoal, a longstanding name taken from a boat that crushed opposite it in 1784, and described a island as partial of a Zhongsha island sequence of China, many people in a Philippines complained.

A petition on Change.org called on Google to stop implying a bank was Chinese territory.

In response, Google pronounced on Tuesday that it had reverted to a name Scarborough Shoal. “We done a repair in line with a longstanding tellurian process on depicting doubtful regions in a approach that does not validate or attest a position taken by any side,” a Google spokesman, Taj Meadows, said.

Google Maps relies on third-party information providers, and while a association says it tries to say neutral names and boundaries, infrequently information and labels from outward sources that are not entirely vetted can lead to complaints.

The use contingency also accommodate internal laws that can outcome in opposite maps for opposite sites. The map of a South China Sea during Google’s China site, Google.cn, shows China’s nine-dash line (Google’s chronicle indeed has 10 dashes), that demarcates many of a sea, including Scarborough Shoal, as a territory. The chronicle on Google.com does not uncover a line.

A judiciary in The Hague is now deliberation a ask from a Philippines that China’s South China Sea claims be invalidated. China has argued that a justice does not have jurisdiction, and on Tuesday it steady a call for a Philippines to dump a office of settlement underneath a United Nations Convention on a Law of a Sea.

In 2012, China and a Philippines had a monthslong deadlock over entrance to a shoal, that is about 140 miles west of a categorical Philippine island of Luzon. The name Scarborough is not a elite choice of possibly side. China calls a bank Huangyan Island, while a Philippines uses a names Panatag Shoal and Bajo de Masinloc.

In 2012, China and a Philippines were sealed in a two-month showdown over Scarborough Shoal in a South China Sea. Al Jazeera reported on a opposing claims.

Still, Alf Amp, a user name of a petition’s organizer, announced feat during a use of a name Scarborough.

“Now, whenever we perspective a Philippines in Google Maps, there will not be a thorn stabbing a hearts meaningful because there has not been an movement to scold such a mistake,” he wrote.