Sichuan to require all online maps be approved

Source:Global Times Published: 2013-1-23 1:03:01

Officials in Southwest China's Sichuan Province issued tighter rules regulating the publication of maps on Monday, according to the provincial government's website.

The new rules, which come into effect on March 1, stipulate that fines ranging from 2,000 yuan ($322) to 30,000 yuan will be imposed on map providers who publish maps that have not been checked or reviewed by local authorities.

"Internet map service providers" who provide map services that are not based in China can also be fined, said the announcement. It is not certain Sichuan could impose fines on Google Maps or the navigation service provided by Apple on its mobile devices as the companies are outside the province's jurisdiction. 

Provincial mapping authorities did not explain its use of the term "Internet map service providers."

The Sichuan mapping department could not be reached by the Global Times as of late Tuesday.

The regulation also requires map publications to restrict advertising to less than a quarter of the size of the publication.

The regulation covers printed maps, electronic maps and Internet maps.

In order to increase geographic awareness of the territory among students, local education authorities, together with mapping officials, will check every map that is published in textbooks, the Chengdu-based Chengdu Daily reported.

The new rules echo an order from the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation (NASMG) in October, which said that many maps retrieved through the Internet exposed national secrets or missed important locations such as the Diaoyu Islands.

It ordered every map, both online or paper alike, to be checked and reviewed by local mapping departments.

Maps of China are now showing islands in the South China Sea in greater geographic detail, giving them a closer link to the Chinese mainland, the Xinhua News Agency reported earlier this year.

The new map includes more than 130 islands and islets in the South China Sea, most of which had not been featured on previous editions of official maps, the NASMG said.

Global Times



Posted in: Society

blog comments powered by Disqus