Date
28 May 2017
Google Maps shows Shenzhen River extending into Hong Kong. Photos: Apple Daily, GovHK
Google Maps shows Shenzhen River extending into Hong Kong. Photos: Apple Daily, GovHK

Google Maps accuracy questioned after Shenzhen ‘errors’ found

A river that separates Hong Kong from neighboring Guangdong province has been found running through Hong Kong on Google Maps, raising questions on the accuracy of the popular online mapping service.

Shenzhen River serves as the natural border between Hong Kong and mainland China.

But a netizen said a recent search of the river on the international version of Google Maps reveals that some streets in Shenzhen “extend” into Hong Kong, Apple Daily reported on Wednesday.

What’s more, Google Ditu, the Chinese version of Google Maps, gives a search result that shows two Shenzhen Rivers crossing Hong Kong.

A similar mistake can be found on Google Maps when one searches for Yalu River on the border of North Korea and China, the report said.

Google has yet reply to inquiries by the newspaper about the apparent errors.

Certified town planner Ng Wing-fai said the one to blame for the error is not Google, which developed the program, but the mandatory use of the GCJ-02 coordinate system for Chinese geographical information as ordered by the Chinese government on national security grounds.

The GCJ-02 system, formulated by the Chinese State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping, can change the regular coordinates of a location and put it at least 500 meters away from its actual location on Google Maps, Ng said.

As a result, any missile fired at China based on the Chinese-made coordinate system will definitely miss the target.

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TL/AC/CG

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