acm-header
Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Syrian Opposition Seeks to Wipe the Assad Name Off the Map--Via Google


Syrian protests

On Google Maps, revolutionaries in Syria are removing President Bashar al-Assads name from landmarks named for him and replacing it with those of rebel leadersbut they havent toppled his regime.

Credit: Washington Post

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 
View Full Article

Abstracts Copyright © 2012 Information Inc. External Link, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 


 

No entries found

Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account