Republic of Georgia and Google Maps

Having spent a considerable amount of time in Tbilisi, Georgia selling the state electricity assets to AES back in the late 1990s while I worked for Merrill Lynch’s EMEA team, I am curious and interested in all things Caucasus.

The recent post on Google’s blog caught my attention.”The recent conflict in Georgia has raised some questions about how Google Maps has handled mapping in that part of the world. The most obvious question is, why doesn’t Google Maps show any cities or roads for Georgia, or its neighbors Armenia and Azerbaijan?”

Google’s blog suggested its due to lack of quality data and a useful experience can be found in Google Earth.  Having traversed the roads in Georgia between Tbilisi, Gori, Rustavi and Kutaisi, not a surprise.  Even if its 2008 and large amounts of money are being poured into Georgia, Green Berets are on the ground as the forward team to help out w/ military consulting and loads of World Bank and USAID folks are running around providing technical assistance, etc., infrastructure is not one of the selling points in this beautiful ancient land.

It does raise an interesting question that Google will surely deal with in the future. As Google Earth and Maps become more robust, up to date and “real time”, national security and military sensitivity may require Google to remove parts of their experience for period of time. How Google deals with these issues will be interesting. Not easy!

3 responses to “Republic of Georgia and Google Maps

  1. but the prolem is that google has done that, which has already raised the eyebros of governments about the mapping of the snesitive areas of national sequrity and now thay are failing ina land where they are not having any pressure……
    how is it possible…..????
    may be they do not wan’t to put the money in to mapping that area..or may be another reasons are there but it is a intresting point that whatever the corcumstances may be google should plot that part of the that we could actually see how GEORGIA LOOK LIKE??

  2. Sid, the Georgian/South Ossetia/Abkhazia/Russian play is quite complex as you know. Here is an interesting article, albeit playful, from I dont normally site this site, but this was seemingly thoughtful:

    As always, its about the oil and gas. I want to publish a book about this century and how almost every major global/economic/political/financial “blow up” has its basis in oil/gas demand and/or water and associated rights!

  3. And then there is the’s ever quixotic helpful hints on a subject or theme….this time the Republic of Georgia….

    This site always cracks me up in a high brow sort of way!

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