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Google Maps fails in Palestinian territories

Google promises to connect people. In the West Bank, this is not the case. Between Nablus and Ramallah, Google Maps cannot calculate a Route between the Israeli

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Google Maps fails in Palestinian territories

Google promises to connect people. In the West Bank, this is not the case. Between Nablus and Ramallah, Google Maps cannot calculate a Route between the Israeli settlements.

on the way from Tel Aviv towards Haifa. In less than a second the Smartphone App, Google Maps calculated the Route within Israel:

"The location of Haifa is located in heavy traffic for two hours and eight minutes with the car location Tel Aviv-Jaffa. This is your Route."

35 kilometres to the highway - but no Route

On his website, writes the Google group has a Mission: "The world's information organize", it says. And: "make it universally accessible and useful." That sounds all well and good. However, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank Google fails on this claim.

highway 60 in the center of the West Bank of the Jordan connects the two Palestinian towns of Nablus and Ramallah. Distance: 35 kilometers. Who's asking Google to this simple track, gets an error message. "No Route found" in the App.

Now, it is so that Google Maps works even in the West Bank. Anyway, if you ask for a Route between two Israeli settlements:

"The site of Elon Moreh is located in low traffic 54 minutes by car from the location Karney Schomron. This is your Route."

In Nablus, more than 100,000 people live. The way Google Maps does not know but.

"To the needs of the settlers

Nadim Nashif is not oriented" believes that this is a coincidence. He is Arab Israeli and directs the organization "7amleh", which campaigns for digital rights of Palestinians. "We have the impression that Google assumes the perspective of the Israelis," says Nashif. "The App assumes that it is an Israeli settler. To their needs, Google is based, although the settlements violate international law. The needs and the reality of the Palestinians are ignored."

warning of increased crime

For navigation systems the West Bank is not a simple Terrain. There are different zones, which are managed by either Israel or the Palestinians. Some roads may only be used with cars with an Israeli number plate driving.

Jewish Israelis, in turn, according to Israeli law a criminal offence, if you are driving in the so-called A-areas administered by the Palestinian authority. Who wants to go on with the navigation App Waze, which belongs to Google, in a territory, will be warned by the App forcefully. You enter an area with increased crime:

"your journey takes you in a Region, in danger or in a Region in which the entry for Israelis is forbidden."

In the case of larger Palestinian towns and cities Google Maps to find the Route to...

... in the case of small Israeli settlements.

Google will respond only in writing

In the past it happened that Jewish Israelis proceeded and, for example, in the middle of the Palestinian city of Ramallah landed. It came to riots and the Israelis had to be led by the Palestinian police out of the city.

but Why is the navigation App Waze explains the Palestinian cities so flat to areas with increased crime? To a question of the ARD Studio in Tel Aviv, the PR Agency of Waze did not. The company refers only to the fact that the areas of the Israeli security would be classified forces as dangerous.

Google's App without problems routes between Israeli settlements, between Palestinian cities, towns, answered only in writing. There it is:

"We always try to give our users the best route notes. However, it is possible that incorrect data or other errors lead to point to poor Navigation. A wide range of factors is taken into account, in order to provide the best Route. We look, for example, on the size of the road, how direct the Route is, the calculated travel time, and other factors. As always, we encourage our users to give us a Tool in the App to know when something is wrong.“

The ARD Studio in Tel Aviv hooked in to Google, whether this explains why the App is in the West Bank failed the country. The request for a phone call, however, was rejected.

digital activist Nashif criticized the behavior of Google.

"this is an area of conflict"

Nadim Nashif, the Arab-Israeli digital activist, not buying Google, to lead to incorrect data, the problems of the App. "Beautiful photos of Google's headquarters in Silicon Valley, this is the one thing. But this is a conflict area - to the crew. Google should develop tools to deal with it." the

When Palestinians travel through the West Bank, they manage now with a different maps App. Which can be supplemented by the users - a bit like Wikipedia. Google Maps is for many Palestinians is not an Option. Because it is called too often: "The Route has not been calculated."

"No Route found" - such As Google Maps in the West Bank, fails
Benjamin Hammer, ARD Tel Aviv
18.01.2019 08:24 PM

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