Map data at Google Maps, Google Earth and Google Maps Mobile comes from various data sources. These sources include the official map data for most of the countries that usually comes from their survey departments. Google is now replacing the purchased/hired map data with their intellectual proprietorial data coming through contributions from Google Map Maker.

Since Google Map Maker is based upon crowd sourced contributions that come from all kind of people around the world so it is highly expected to have malicious entries. The algorithm in moderation  however doesn’t let go entries without being seen by human eyes but there are always the chances. So first of all, if you see that any road marked in your area is not correctly attributed or named or you see an outdated feature then instead of cursing the editor, you can login and correct it yourself.

Mapping Pakistan is just not a passion but it has real cause behind and this cause is to help out our people in coming days. Though contributors may have become even more passionate with results of using the map data during devastating floods in Pakistan in 2010 and by other public service organisations, it is highly demanding that editors and moderators become responsible for edits and type of edits in the country that could affect certain things.

One of the critical drawings in maps is in accordance to military establishments in the country. We have seen people very much interested in drawing military establishments and their features which seems fine & not problematic with cantonments & related areas since they are classified as residential areas as well but in a rich study of analysing few things in this matter we have come up with map examples from Google Maps. As described earlier, this map data comes from various providers so the type and access most probably be providers policy dependent. The noticeable key point is that none of the military airbase in any country is mapped at all although majority of those are clearly visible through satellite mode. Following are few examples of such cases from Germany and United Kingdom.

Ramstein Airbase

Buchel Airbase

RAF Farnborough


RAF Fairford

RAF Barford

None of these examples and rest of most studied military places have no map data publicized on Google Maps. Just today Gizmodo has written an article [1] listing 18 censored places in Google Maps [2]. These are the places censored either by Google itself or referred by local governments enforcing Google to do so. This is clear and evident that there are more cases than just 18 and it is notable that the limitations are not only in map data but also in rendering the satellite imageries. The above snap-shot of RAF Farnborough Airbase also clearly shows a specially patched area instead of showing the normal imagery.

In a process of contribution, it is difficult to enforce standards in our case where government is not also showing any interest in such matters at all. Hence, our request would be to keep the maps in accordance to as they are being used on official basis by developed countries.

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