Over some weeks ago, a friend of mine had a weird long status in facebook, in all caps. What it said was, if you google “Birthplace of Buddha” a map is displayed in which it shows birth place of Buddha is Uttarpradesh, India. Well now, we all know Gautam Buddha was born in Lumbini, Nepal. There is no doubt about it. And, my friend urged all of us to put the same status as a protest to Google to fix the error in Google Maps.
The funny thing about Google maps is anybody can put a marker in the maps and name it a place. As a matter of fact, the marker with name “Birthplace of Buddha” that shows up in google/Google Maps is a user generated marker. So I, and several other unsatisfied, angered people tried to change the address to Lumbini, Nepal from Uttarpradesh, India. But Google doesn’t seem to approve it.
Get this, anybody in the Internet can place a marker in Google Maps and write a description about that place, either it is a business or a landmark. What I don’t understand is, regardless of the description in it, how can a marker which is clearly seen in the maps that lies in the territory of Nepal be marked as India? That boggles my mind.
In the image above the gray line separates Nepal and India. The northern part is Nepal and the southern part for the line is India. The marker “A” clearly lies in the territory of Nepal shows up as Uttarpradesh, India. How is that even possible? Why are the edits that we are making, correcting it is not being honored by Google/Google Maps?
Over a week there has been several protest over the Internet. Facebook groups were made. This group GOOGLE! Correct your mistake. Gautam Buddha was born in Nepal, not India has 7300+ members. This one has 1100+ members, last time I checked. Google has also closed comments in its support forum for this matter. Here is thread one in which the “top contributor”, ehg from Germany, says it has been addressed in thread two. In thread two s/he says it has been reported to Google, and then again it says the topic has been addressed in the third thread but actually it points to itself. So there is no solution for that and the comments in those threads are disabled.
[update: it seems that thread two has been opened again for comments. There is now no link to thread three.]
I and several others have tried to report the problem to Google in several other ways. I contacted the Google Maps Support Team through https://maps.google.com/support/bin/request.py?contact_type=open_bug. Several other contacted @googlemaps. But everyone in Google seems to put a dumb ear towards our plea.
There was no need of plea. Can I put a marker in Google Maps in the USA and say it is Germany. I bet Google will not validate that entry. Why has Google validated a part of Nepal, a holy place where Siddartha Gautam was born, Lumbini, as a part of India and hasn’t changed with our several attempts to change it is, Google is Evil. For us Nepalese they are.