Syrian activists are using Google's Map Maker crowdsourcing software to oppose the Assad regime by renaming streets and landmarks after their revolutionary idols, including protesters who have died during the 11-month uprising.
Names have changed over time on Google as maps are updated with user proposals sanctioned by other users as well as Google editors. Syrian opposition figure Rami Nakhle says the campaign started several months ago on Facebook.
Google's Deanna Yick says Google has constructed its maps from "a wide range of authoritative sources, ranging from the public and commercial data providers, user contributions, and imagery references." She notes that this generally supports a comprehensive and up-to-date map, but maps are in a constant state of revision, so Google will continue to review data and make changes with the availability of new information.
The Syrian campaign reflects widespread use of the Internet, especially social media, by anti-government movements across the Middle East to raise public support.
Ogle Earth blog author Stefan Geens says the re-christening of landmarks by Syrians is the most recent manifestation of attempts to promote political views via crowdsourcing--and the first uprising he is aware of where online mapping programs have been exploited to rewrite history.
From Washington Post
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