It has now been confirmed by a number of folks at Google that they never published the map data for Georgia. I sincerely appreciate all of you taking the time to tap your sources and clarify this issue. Coming on the heels of yesterdays Gmail outage I think suspicions were heightened given the current cyber attacks on Georgia’s networks.
This heightened awareness, however, has brought up a new issue – there is no map data for Georgia. If I am planning an emergency response and using Google Earth to do so (something I did many times in the past as Google Earth is an excellent tool for doing just that) how am I going to plan my response? I know that right now more than a few aid workers in offices around the world are working like mad to map points of interest within Georgia and they are having to do it blind. No roads, cities, borders, etc make it nearly impossible to accurately map an organization’s response.
I am hopeful that the good folks on the Google Earth team in Mountain View will gather their volunteer team together and help us out with that as soon as possible. With 100,000 displaced folks now moving out of and around the country it is going to be harder than ever to track their movements.
ReliefWeb.int is currently posting maps from the BBC, NY Times and the LA Times. Are we back to running down to Barnes and Noble and buying up all the folding maps we can find? I haven’t had time to search online so someone please point me in the right direction.
Lastly, I sincerely apologize for assuming that there was data was there to begin with, something which I should have done at the beginning of this piece.