Tech-Savvy PM Orders Update to Google Maps

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday ordered the Ministry of Land Management to submit updated national maps to Google so that the Internet giant can amend its maps application.

Speaking in Kandal province at the inauguration of the Prek Kdam bridge, which spans the Tonle Sap river in Ponhea Leu district, Mr Hun Sen said that Cam­bodian maps used by Google are outdated.

“We can’t see the bridges,” the prime minister said of Google’s greatest failing.

In February, Council of Min­isters Secretary of State Svay Sitha sent a letter to Google’s regional headquarters accusing the company of misrepresenting the location of the Thai-Cambo­dian border, which the Google map showed passed directly through Preah Vihear temple. The letter de­scribed that map as “devoid of truth and reality” and called on Google to remove it from their application.

Mr Hun Sen yesterday pointed out that the criticized map had not been removed or changed by Google.

“We must update and send it to Google because it is wrongly placed on the map,” he said. “This is computer technology.”

Google’s response to the Cam­bodian government’s Feb­ruary letter made clear that the border was delineated by data from Tele Atlas, a Dutch cartography firm, prompting Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan to pro­mise that the Cambodian government would send Google new and accurate information.

Ministry of Land Management spokeswoman Non Theany said yesterday that data for a new map of the country is still being collected.

“When we finish, we will publish it,” she said.

At several points during yesterday’s speech, Prime Minister Hun Sen was seen showing Chi­nese Ambassador to Cambo­dia Zhang Jinfeng different applications on his iPhone, including a virtual golf scorecard. The iPhone is sold with a pre-installed maps application that is supported by Google.


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