People talk about digital divide among society for people who have access to computing related technology and who don’t have; and bottom of pyramids for poorer segment of society. There is a different kind of ‘divide’ being created across thw world. This is the divide created by availability of maps and other information about places. Places that have good maps and good information are known to attract businesses, tourists, and developments. Places without maps are deprived and are relegated to slower developments. I personally notice this contrast when I am in India. In US, I use Google and Yahoo maps for finding all local information including planning my trips, visits, and shopping. In India, even in Bangalore the IT capital of India (possibly the World) one notices lack on map-based info.

Holland is going to be fully viewable on the net. As reported in the Reuter article on

Full-circle pictures taken at 20 meter intervals (about 65 feet) in metropolitan areas and every 50 meters (about 165 feet) in rural areas will show the entire country at street level, with satellite images supplied by Google Earth offering a bird’s-eye view.

This is marvellous. It may give rise to lots of interesting ideas and research challenges.

But this also creates a strong divide between parts of the globe that are competely viewable and the ones that are more or less completely opague. This is starting the globe-divide. And it has serious business and social implications.

2 thoughts on “Globe-divide

  1. Vijay

    Please check and there are some very good maps availble in print. I personally use Eicher’s.
    I know maps in india make some sense. But with the growth seen in India its tough to keep up! Anyways, there is Google Earth. Plus the big devil realeased something the other day.
    However, there is a cheap and easy solution: pull down ur window and ask!

  2. Bill

    This is just the difference between developed and developing countries – no more than this.

    Map-creation and replications simply wouldn’t be valued in a place where many people struggle to even find a decent meal.

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