China: China’s State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping (SBSM) answered questions on the originality of Map World, tianditu.com, its newly launched online map service website, and confirmed that the online service software has its own independent property rights, the Beijing News reported.
Tianditu.com was launched on October 21, 2010, and the SBSM had earlier said that the maps weredeveloped by China. But internet users have questioned the originality of the maps used on the website, comparing them with the maps on Google Earth.
One internet user pointed out in his blog that the maps are from a US company, DigitalGlobe. Google Earth is also using maps from this company.
Jiang Jie, Director of the National Geometrics Center of China, under the SBSM, clarified that it is the online service software that has the independent property rights. “The software is developed by China alone. However, the satellite data, or the maps, were bought from overseas,” said Jiang.
The maps on tianditu.com have not been updated and Jiang said that the website is still in its beta version and will be improved.
“We have received feedback from 1,500 users of our maps. Most of the feedback concerned requests to amend addresses. We will do it in a unified way,” Jiang added.