Flickr map of Israel shows only 3 cities – no streets (all other countries have details)

November 11, 2012
Sunday, November 11, 2012 Flickr map of Israel shows only 3 cities – no streets (all other countries have details)

[IMRA: You can see for yourself that the map of Israel only has three
cities and no street details while there are many cities and street details
for every other country in the region by clicking on
http://www.flickr.com/map/
and looking at Israel
email for complaining to Yahoo: CorporateSecretary@yahoo-inc.com ]

Exclusive: Flickr took Israel out of its Maps
Written by Iddo Gennuth at 11/11/2012 19:49
Copied from: http://www.megapixel.co.il/english/archive/35519

The exclusive story that we are publishing today is bizarre and some might
say downright disturbing. flickr – one of the largest social photo hosting
services decided to remove the maps of Israel from its site. Despite
numerous e-mails and phone calls, Yahoo! – flickr’s parent company – refused
to comment on the issue. We bring you the full story.

Taking Israel off the map

Several weeks ago one of our long time writers, photographer Giora Pinhasi
shared with us a bothersome discovery. As a long time user of the flickr
photo sharing service he discovered that not too long ago the old maps of
Israel (which used to appear on the site, although being relatively old and
inaccurate) were removed completely. Only the names of 3 major cities got
left – the rest – including cities, towns, villages and streets were all
removed leaving practically a blank map of the entire country.

Pinhasi decided to contact flickr himself and try and find out if this is
simply a technical glitch. After speaking with one company representative
who did not supply any answers he was referred to flickr’s costumer service
which simply did not answer.

It’s important to understand that beyond the principal matter, there is also
a strong element of costumer care (or lack of) with the entire story.
Israeli flickr users such as Pinhasi and many others simply can’t use
flickr’ Geotagging service on their pictures and this is also true for
tourists and anybody else taking pictures inside Israel.

If you take a closer look at the flickr map service you actually realize
rather quickly that the maps used are not those of flickr (or Yahoo! for
that matter – which suffer from the same issue) but are actually “powered by
Nokia”. The Finish mobile giant has a map service known as Nokia Maps (very
similar to Google Maps and other online street mapping services) which
covers (almost) the entire world. However as you can see when looking at the
maps on the Nokia site – Israel is completely blank (apart from 3 major city
names).

Digging a bit deeper we realized something even more strange. flickr map
service also uses an open map service called Leaflet (you can see the link
on the lower right corner of the flickr map page). Leaflet uses a map
database from another site called openstreetmap.org which – to our great
surprise – actually does have very detailed street maps of every city in
Israel…

Tel Aviv on the openstreetmap.org – every street is present – did
flickr/Nokia took them out on purpose?

Not the first time

This is not the first time international companies set up “virtual borders”
for Israel. In 2011 facebook decided that Jerusalem is the capital of
Palestine (something that was eventually changed after pressure from large
groups of facebook users and official Israeli representatives). A similar
thing also happened with both Apple and the BBC during 2012. However this is
the first time to our knowledge that the entire country was wiped clean from
the map by a well known international company.

Current status

When we here in MegaPixel first got the info about this story we decided to
act and contacted Yahoo! – flickr’s parent company in order to try and get
some official answers. We were promised a response but after about two weeks
of wait (including a direct phone call to Yahoo!’s headquarters and another
failed promise for an answer) we decided to move forward with the article.

Our next step besides this article (which was published in both Hebrew and
English) is to work hand in hand with our content partners on Israeli
Channel 2 TV (MAKO/Keshet TV) to help spread the story.

How you can help?

Want to help get Israel back on the map? Here are a number of simple things
you can do which might have a big effect:
•Press Like and share the story with your friends.
•Publish and comment on the story on the Yahoo! page on facbook and the
Nokia page on facebook.
•If you know journalists and people working for the international media send
them the story and ask them to report on it.
•Have other creative ideas on how to spread the word? contact us and we will
be happy to help.

We shall update this article with any new information.

This is an English version of an article originally published on the Israeli
Photography website MegaPixel.co.il


Is Google Maps Blocking Judea and Samaria?And if so why?

May 22, 2012

Is Google Maps Blocking Judea and Samaria?And if so why?(INN).Arutz Sheva has received several complaints over the past few weeks from residents of Judea and Samaria (Shomron) who use Google Maps to receive driving directions before setting out on the roads. The residents complained that in recent weeks, when they looked for directions between two points in Judea and Samaria, they received an error message which said that no information is available on the points in question.
One of the complainants, Joe from Havat Gilad (Gilad Farm) in the Shomron, told Arutz Sheva on Monday that the problem goes beyond trips from one point to another within Judea and Samaria, and also extends to trips from within Judea and Samaria to points outside of the area.
It should be noted that those who wish to see driving directions from a point outside of Judea and Samaria to a point within the area have no problems accessing the site and receive no error messages. However, they must be sure to use discretion and not attempt to go through Arab villages and towns, even if that is the shortest route.
(Ed. note: Those using a GPS in Israel must be sure it is programmed especially for Israel, as GPS gives the shortest route between two places – and that may easily be a very dangerous one. IDF soldiers stopped unwary tourists with GPS as they were about to make a turn into an Arab city, leading to reprogramming for Israeli GPS.)
Joe, who has used Google Maps himself for a long time, said he tried to turn to Google and ask for clarifications on this issue but was unsuccessful. He noted, however, that perhaps the company decided not to include Judea and Samaria due to its fear that of lawsuits from users who might use the service and mistakenly end up in danger by entering areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority.
Arutz Sheva asked Google Israel to comment on the matter but did not hear back from the company. When the company responds, its statement will be published in full.Read the full story here.


Justice Ministry allows Google View cams operations in Israel

August 21, 2011
The Justice Ministry said Sunday that it has granted internet giant Google the necessary permits to deploy its Street View cameras in Israel, in favor of its map service. The ministry said that the permit was subject to “conditions which will protect Israelis’ public interest.” (Ynet)
I still could not magnify Jerusalem any closer then this. These Google maps will give small time terrorists the ability to aim their rockets better.

Gaza Terrorists Using Google Earth for Target Selection

July 11, 2011

Media_httpundhimmicom_jecewGaza terrorists have a new tool helping them to fire on innocent civilians living in southern Israel – the popular satellite mapping program Google Earth. A group of terrorists from the Al-Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades recently described their use of the program to a reporter for Slate Magazine. Time to Un Dhimmi “The technology is always improving,” a terrorist calling himself Abu Saif told journalist Sharon Weinberger. “Our struggle started with the Kalashnikov, and then it moved to the suicide bomb, then the locally made rocket, and now the Grad rocket.”
Gaza terrorists in rocket launching crews use Google Earth to aim their weapons, Abu Said said. The program is seen as superior to maps because it is more up-to-date and gives precise locations for potential targets. Gaza terrorists who spoke to Weinberger said they plan to continue with rocket attacks despite the deployment of the Iron Dome system, which shoots short-range rockets out of the air. “The Israelis are using a lot of money for this defense, but during the last rocket attacks, our rockets made it through,” explained Abu Hamza, a senior Islamic Jihad terrorist. Iron Dome goes three for four! 


Where are the 67 borders?

June 13, 2011

I have often written about the manipulation of technology to fabricate an ahistorical and counter-factual narrative; for example the replacement geography in Google Earth, and the relocation of East Jerusalem to Palestine in Yahoo Weather. History is a critical part of the Jewish claim to the Land of Israel. Getting it right is important. The current discourse over “67 borders” in the media, blogosphere and social media, presents a narrative so removed from fact that its propagandistic nature can be exposed even by someone with only Google Maps and Wikipedia to guide them. The propaganda has been triggered by discussion over the Palestinian unilateral declaration of statehood. More and more people are speaking about Israel’s borders, and in particular the idea of “returning to the 67 borders.” Those with a knowledge of history would know there is no such thing. For a start, they mean pre-1967, not 1967, and to be fully accurate, they mean boundaries or lines not borders. The loss of the “pre” prefix is the most blatant attempt to wipe clear the historical narrative, see for example the recent Washington Post op-ed by Turki al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s Former Ambassador.
Even in Israel there has been a move away from the “green line” to “67 borders,” articles in both Haaretz and Jerusalem Post have used this terminology. This is unsurprising given the use of this terminology by Israeli leaders, the British Prime Minister, and many other. The White House, whatever one thinks of their policy, at least have the terminology right, despite media headlines and reporting to the contrary, at AIPAC, President Obama’s actual words referred to “pre-1967 lines,” a formulation that the White House press office has also used consistently.
The 1949 Armistice Agreement Line shown on Google MapsOn Google Maps the line is clearly and correctly labelled the “1949 Armistice Agreement Line.” In Wikipedia, the article on the Green Line, refers to the boundary as “the demarcation lines set out in the 1949 Armistice Agreements between Israel and its neighbours (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria) after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.” The narrative of ’67 borders is a Palestinian one. It obfuscates the fact that a return to these borders would be a return to the unstable position after the war of independence.
The Wikipedia article itself notes this was never an “international or permanent border,” it also notes the position in international law, expressed by the deputy legal advisor to the US Department of State in the American Journal of International Law (1970). He said “…modifications of the 1949 armistice lines among those States within former Palestinian territory are lawful… whether those modifications are…’insubstantial alterations required for mutual security’ or more substantial alterations – such as recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the whole of Jerusalem.” The Palestinian narrative seeks to lock in the minimalist idea of insubstantial changes and make even that look like a serious sacrifice that is almost too much to ask of them.
History is important. Last week was the anniversary of the Six Day war, and the relevance to today was well outlined by David Harris last week. Language and rhetoric are also important. Let’s stop the downwards slide into a Palestinian narrative. Let us begin to speak of the 1949 ceasefire lines, the psychological trauma of insecurity they imposed, the real danger they created in the face of a conventional warfare threat, and why Abba Eban referred to these indefensible borders as Auschwitz borders, meaning they put Jews, at the time many of them Holocaust survivors, again at the mercy of being slaughtered on mass by those who wished them harm. Israel’s recent experience with Hamas in Gaza justifies a continual concern about such dangerous borders. Not only are there the rockets on Sderot, let’s also remember Gilad Shalit kidnapped by terrorists who made the short journey from Gaza almost 5 years ago.
A two state solution is possible, and large parts of the future border may indeed be along the green line, but the negotiation and public discussion must have a basis in history and fact. It cannot be built on the ahistorical changing sands of Palestinian propaganda. In the mean time, all of us, from international leaders and the media to Facebook users, should watch our language and ensure we don’t strengthen a narrative that will lead not to peace but potentially to renewed bloodshed. If, despite all their flaws, Google Maps and Wikipedia can get this right, so can the rest of us.