South Sudan has officially existed as an independent country since July 9. Now it also exists on Google Maps.
The absence of South Sudan on Google Maps, and the majority of Internet maps, has frustrated citizens of the new country. As early as July 14, Google answered questions about the missing border with assurances that it was in the process of making the update.
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“That’s nice,” John Tanza Mabusu, a broadcast journalist who fled Sudan in 1991 and now lives in Washington, D.C., told Mashable 47 days after South Sudan became a country. “But I would still argue that it’s too late to start talking about that because since the 9th of July, if they were serious, we would have seen the signs of their work.”
Mabusu started a Change.org petition urging Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and National Geographic to update their maps. The petition collected more than 1,600 signatures.
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Google is the first of those companies to update its maps. Spokespeople from Yahoo and Mapquest have pointed to map data providers such as NAVTEQ, which has said that it is "currently assessing plans" and cited time-consuming detailed planning.
“I’m hoping that now that Google has officially recognized South Sudan on their maps, the other major online mapping services will quickly follow suit," Mabusu said in a statement. "The people of South Sudan fought long and hard for their independence and suffered greatly. It’s time these maps reflect their efforts and catch up.”
This story originally published on Mashable here.