According to Google, the rest of the world does not exist

It’s no real surprise, although a little disappointing, the new Google Maps feature only covers the USA and the bits of Canada they could squeeze on the page. If you scroll east, for example, in order to locate the rest of the world, you just get lots and lots of blue.

I know the Atlantic is big, but it’s not that big.

Now, I know there’ll be lots of terribly valid arguments about why this is so, but I still think there’s a fundamental mental block regarding the rest of the world from a lot of American companies and developers. Ok, yada yada stating the obvious. And yada yada Google search localisation. Ok, so I can use Google in Welsh. That’s nice. But why can’t I set the time in Gmail to GMT? Why must all my emails be stamped PST? [UPDATE: Problem explained if not solved.] And why isn’t there at the very least a note on Google Maps to say that they know the rest of the world exists, they just haven’t quite got round to adding the data in yet?

So much for the internet being a global village.

8 thoughts on “According to Google, the rest of the world does not exist

  1. You mean like Alaska and Hawaii?
    [ducking /]

  2. And my well thought through, intelligent and reasoned response to that is – :-p

  3. And don’t forget yada yada both Google Maps and Gmail are beta software.

  4. Aaaah yes. Beta.

    How long does beta last, these days? A year? Two? Or maybe beta is the new Ver. 1.0?

    Or maybe beta is just a good excuse for releasing stuff before it’s ready.

  5. Suw, I don’t get it. My Gmail stamps stuff as GMT and it says here:

    http://gmail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=7992&query=time&topic=0&type=f&ctx=search

    that it takes the settings from your local OS, which would imply that you’re using a client machine on PST, but why would you do that…let alone not know that you’ve done it. some stuff is just weird.

    I share your disappointment that even the western-most parts of Britain (which are commonly accepted as the most beautiful) are missing from the Googlesphere but I’m hopeful that it won’t be too long before we get the benefit of being able to zzzzzzooom into downtown Llareggub if they so wish.

  6. Suw, the Ordnance Survey charges prohibitive amounts of money to reuse their map data. The US Freedom of Information act made US Govt map data essentially free.
    One to lobby your MP, or someone relatively net-savvy like Boris Johnson about.

  7. Lloyd: Thanks for the info on Gmail’s time-scraping habits. Must be something gone screwy with my PC. Quelle surprise.

    Kevin: Well, streetmap.co.uk and multimap.com have managed, so it can’t be impossible. But there’s still a lot of world left over after accounting for the US and UK. Maybe the url should have been ‘maps-usa.google.com’ instead?

  8. Do the United States really plan a nuclear holocaust? This may explain why google has already suppressed the rest of the world from the map.

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