China Watch Blog has learnt that Google recognizes the newly independent nation of South Sudan on Google Maps after a call for action on Change.org, which has become a very powerful force that the world is seeing.
Google has separated South Sudan from Sudan on Google Maps after more than 1,600 Change.org members called on Google and other major online map service providers to recognize the newly independent nation of South Sudan by marking it on their web maps.
South Sudan became an independent, sovereign nation on July 9th, 2011 after nearly 99% of the population voted in favor of independence. The referendum followed 50 years of civil war and brutal conflict which resulted in over 2 million deaths and hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced people.
Six weeks after his home country gained independence, John Tanza Mabusu, a journalist from South Sudan currently living in Washington, DC, launched a petition on Change.org calling on online mapping services to update their maps to include the new country.
“The inclusion of South Sudan will give the people of that new nation pride and a sense of belonging, as citizens of a sovereign nation on the map,” said Mabusu. “I’m hoping that now that Google has officially recognized South Sudan on their maps, the other major online mapping services will quickly follow suit. The people of South Sudan fought long and hard for their independence and suffered greatly. It’s time these maps reflect their efforts and catch up.”
While South Sudan can now be found on Google Maps, it is still missing from Yahoo!, Microsoft and National Geographic maps.