It’s normal to be angry about the footage seen on Google Maps. Maybe the Google Car took a picture of your street when you were coming out the front door in a housecoat. Or, maybe your car was spotted at some place it shouldn’t have been, and now you’re single.
However, it’s rare for an entire country to get mad at Google Maps, but that is exactly what has happened with Iran.
Today, the country of Iran is threatening to sue Google because Maps did not label the Persian Gulf correctly. In fact, Google did not label the Persian Gulf at all.
But that’s just a simple mistake, right? There’s no way Google has any political motivation behind its actions, right? Unfortunately, Iran disagrees. They claim that Google Maps is being used as a tool by its western enemies and that the omission of the Persian Gulf is designed to toy with the feelings of the Iranian nation.
The issue is so serious that at least several Facebook pages have been started by Iranians against the issue, including “Boycott Google for removing Persian Gulf from the maps”. We don’t think that’s going to happen.
As silly as it may seem, there is a history to this conflict. The Gulf was widely known as the Persian Gulf during the first several thousand years of recorded history (when the Persian Empire dominated the region). However, since that period (particularly since the 1960s), Arab nationalism has raised some questions over the issue. Arabs suggest alternative names like the Arabian Gulf, the Islamic Gulf, or the Arabian Gulf.
While the Google Maps snub probably won’t be a precursor to World War III, let’s hope that Google fixes the problem soon. You know, just in case.