Guyana-Venezuela border spat takes to Google Maps
By Girish Gupta
CARACAS, Sept 15 (Reuters) - A centuries-old territorial dispute in South America has taken a technological turn as anglophone Guyana decries Google Maps' Spanish-language labeling of street names in a region claimed by neighboring Venezuela.
The contended English-speaking area, which encompasses two-thirds of Guyana and effectively functions as part of the former British colony, is at the heart of the long-standing dispute, recently revived after an oil discovery off its shores.
Roads in the sparsely populated jungle region are known locally by English monikers, but some appear with entirely different Spanish-language names on Google Inc's map service.
"It was brought to our attention that certain main streets on the Essequibo Coast were falsely branded," Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo told Reuters, adding that Guyana would ask Google to remove the names.
"Anna Regina Public Road," for instance, is labeled "Avenida 100 Bolivar,' in an apparent nod to Latin American independence hero Simon Bolivar, idolized by the Venezuelan government. (Map: goo.gl/xNrqbl)
It was not immediately clear whether the road names on Google Maps had been changed recently.
Neither Google nor Venezuelan authorities immediately responded to requests for comment.
The Essequibo region has long been denoted on Venezuelan maps as a "reclamation zone." Continuación...