back to article Chinese regime opens Google Earth rival

China's State Bureau for Surveying and Mapping (SBSM) has launched a 3D web-based site of satellite images of many Chinese cities. The bureau said the images have been collected over the last four years and will be updated every six months. The project has been dubbed Map World. The SBSM said that the site was still in …


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  1. Trev 2

    Was this what the Chinese were after from Google?

    Tried it out, but it seems even much of China doesn't show any real detail yet - perhaps they've not uploaded those images. Also tried further around the world and it's very low res, so I guess this is what they mean by "regulate mapping".

    I do wonder, was this what those Chinese hackers downloaded when Google said it had lost intellectual property (after the IE6 incident)? Someone downloaded the Google maps code?

  2. M. Burns Silver badge

    Invisible Installations

    It will be quite the game to see how many Chinese facilities are deemed too sensitive and are made invisible via CGI in this "service". Could become quite a game.

  3. Avatar of They Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    regulate mapping???

    Which means all maps outside china won't be done properly, to avoid people seeing what fun there is outside in the rest of the world.

  4. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Hey, Yau Chun Yip...

    I can see your house from here!!!

    1. Ef'd


      I'm assuming the government's in control of infrastructure development and maintenance. so it's not hard to reason that they would want to help their country progress by giving citizens access to accurate data.

      Also remember Google's based in a foreign country, and hasn't exactly shown itself to be trustworthy, even in its homeland.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    I notice... uses Google Analytics, though :-)

  6. JaitcH

    How about the military bases with replica villages or all the 140+ Gulags in GuangXi?

    Bet you the Chinese will hide those funny little villages replicated by the military.

    Also, those 140 gulag/government factories are filled with political prisoners that make Guantanamo look like a holiday camp, all in the really beautiful province of GuangXi in south-western China.

    1. Tempest
      Thumb Up

      Will they show the U.S. secrets like the White House roof?

      The US has many 'secrets' which it prefers it's citizens and others, not to see.

      The U.S. based satellite views 'co-operate' with governments who object, but not all.

      Additionally where are the satellite photographs sourced from?

  7. Grass Mud Horse
    Gates Halo

    bu yao, xie xie

    Firefox or Linux are not supported. An initial popup appears that reminds you to use IE7, it even gives you links to get some tools in case you have only IE6 or IE8.

    Finally M$ will be able to cash in on all those hundreds of millions pirated XPs out there, since now the government officially (besides providing form downloads in .DOC format only) requires everyone to use Windows.

    Thanks, but no.

    Bill Gates because, well, no Ballmer icon.

    1. Jeremy 2

      Further still....

      If I'm interpreting the translation correctly, you can't access all features of the site unless you disable UAC.

      Call me suspicious but I can't help but wonder why the Chinese government would be encouraging their viewers to disable key safety protections... I can't think of many innocent circumstances under which a mapping application would require admin elevation...

      1. kain preacher Silver badge

        @Jeremy 2

        Windows has detected a problem. Please click here to get your state sponsored maleware err anit virus software here .

        Yeah I can think of plenty reasons why a map software from the Chinese government would need to run in admin mode with UAC turned off. None of them are nice .

    2. Long Fei


      Works alright in FF (and Opera) for me.

  8. Richard Scratcher


    I tried to zoom in on the Forbidden City in Beijing but all I got was a 403 browser error.

  9. mhenriday

    Works fine in Firefox and Chromium on 64-bit Ubuntu for me ;

    the first part of the message that appears when one loads the web page informs readers using IE6 - a majority of Chinese users - that IE7 or above is recommended and provides links to downloads of IE7 and IE8, respectively. The second part points out that 3D representation may not work with UAC activated and provides instructions for turning it off. The remaining two parts detail how certain features are to be used, i e, standard user information. It will be interesting to see how many users this service gains in China and abroad....


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