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Iran Plans To Launch an 'Islamic Google Earth' 181

Shipwack sends this quote from the Guardian: "The Iranian authorities have long accused Google Earth of being a tool for western spy agencies, but now they have taken their attacks on the 3D mapping service one step further — by planning the launch of an 'Islamic' competitor. ... The minister, however, gave little information on what he meant by an Islamic 3D map. 'We are developing this service with the Islamic views we have in Iran and we will put a kind of information on our website that would take people of the world towards reality Our values in Iran are the values of God and this would be the difference between Basir and the Google Earth, which belongs to the ominous triangle of the U.S., England and the Zionists [a reference to Israel].' Experts, however, have serious doubts about the project. An IT consultant who has worked on Iran's national internet project in the past said the announcement was merely an excuse to obtain funds and secure working contracts for the future. 'They have claimed to run their service in four months and said their data centre capacity will reach Google's size in three years,' he said. 'Three-year project, no business model and only relying on government funding, a piece of cake indeed. To have a data centre with such capacity and security level they need power stations, cooler systems, bandwidth, etc, which will require billions of dollars of investment that doesn't fit with Iran's sanctions-hit economy.'"
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Iran Plans To Launch an 'Islamic Google Earth'

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  • Re:I'm confused... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @05:28PM (#43416437)

    Addition: in Europe maps are drawn with Europe in its center. In America maps are drawn with America in its center.

    Nah, Most US maps have North and South America on the left, Africa dead center and Eurasia sprawled atop her. (Like the cheap whore it is.) Oz is in the right bottom, Anartica center very bottom and islands peppered around the continents.

  • Re:I'm confused... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Rogue Haggis Landing ( 1230830 ) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @05:48PM (#43416587)

    ... is there some sort of 'Islamic geography' that has serious issues with basic tenents of what we know about our dear home geoid?

    Many years ago I knew a Lebanese Muslim cartographer, who worked with one of my relatives (a geographer), and I actually talked to him about this sort of thing. The short version is that most of the the modern world maps he worked with were exactly the same as Western maps, centered on the Greenwich meridian because of the conventional measure of longitude and so as to avoid splitting up big landmasses. The avowedly Muslim ones would be just the same, only centered on Mecca or, more often, on the point on the equator due south of Mecca.

    Centering the map on Mecca generally means cutting off Antarctica and the southern end of Argentina. Mecca is at about 21 N, so you can potentially get the north pole down to about 48 S (Tierra Del Fuego ends at about 56 S). The more normal practice of centering on the equator south of Mecca means that the edges of the map run through the eastern Pacific and cut Alaska off from the rest of the US, putting it and Hawaii at the far right of the map, while the Yukon stretches to the left edge of the map. That's not a huge difference from the standard Western map. It looks like it because of the distortions of the Mercator projection, but it's not generally a big deal. Centering the map on the Greenwich meridian is a convention; centering it on Mecca's meridian is a different one.

    (It's interesting to note that maps are centered on Greenwich simply because latitude is measured from there, and yet the Greenwich meridian is very close to being an ideal central spot if you're interested in avoiding splitting any landmasses. A map centered on a Hamburg or Tunis meridian would perfectly split the Bering Strait, but Greenwich is pretty good. The world's mapmakers got lucky with that one.)

    One would of course assume that an Iranian map would have some, shall we say, "provocative" interpretations of national boundaries and place names in the eastern Mediterranean.

    On a semi-related note, in the geography-related fields it's demographers who are most prone to the nationalist (etc) political difficulties and shenanigans. My relative's department had a demographer from somewhere in East Africa who in the 1980s had to leave his home country after making population estimates that showed the wrong tribe as having a very high population. It's a lot easier to insist on lies about population numbers than on lies about the contours of the planet Earth.

  • by r1348 ( 2567295 ) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @06:56PM (#43417231)

    You are aware right, that Iranians are not Arabs?

  • by swillden ( 191260 ) <> on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @07:31PM (#43417473) Homepage Journal

    I'd be willing to bet that most of the server admins at Google have no idea how many servers they have.

    (Googler here) You'd be wrong, actually. Google is a very numbers-oriented place; I can see the totals, including CPU, disk, RAM, etc. The numbers are... large.

    I wish Iran all the best with their endeavor, but I'm skeptical.

  • by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @11:10PM (#43418957) Homepage Journal

    Kill the fucking Jews


    Rape your daughter then kill her.

  • by buchner.johannes ( 1139593 ) on Thursday April 11, 2013 @06:15AM (#43420771) Homepage Journal

    They have long wanted to wipe Israel off the face of the map and this is how they will do it.

    Please stop circulating this myth [] and criticize Iran by its actual statements.

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