With a Presidential visit in full swing in the US, the Chinese leader Hu Jintao will have no problem finding his way around now that China’s answer to Google Maps is fully operational.
During the final quarter of 2010 the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping added more than 2 million items of geodata covering thousands of miles of roads and points of interest in the China region. There is also now an English translation for the 11 million place names the service includes.
The site, which is free to access, has been visited by 30 million users from over 200 countries according to official figures. The service is the basis for a push by the Chinese government to control online mapping services in the region. All companies providing such services will be required to purchase an operating license, with the deadline recently extended to July 1st of this year. Around half of the 200 domestic and overseas companies who have applied for licenses have received them so far.
Meanwhile with global businesses increasingly woven into the fabric of Chinese industry and Mapworld’s specifically detailed content for this region, it is bound to become more relevant as a business tool, and go some way to achieving its overall goal. This is, according to Song Chaozhi, Deputy Director of the bureau “to build Mapworld into an international brand”.
- It’s a map, Map World (custommaps.wordpress.com)
- China Online Map Service: Can it Compete? (blogs.wsj.com)
- Beijing’s online map sparks spat with Hanoi (ft.com)