Dokdo can’t be searched for on Google Maps

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Dokdo can’t be searched for on Google Maps

Right now if you search for Korea’s easternmost Dokdo islets on Google Maps, the map will take you to the Dokdo Museum on the nearby Ulleung Island.

Only by searching with the Franco-English name for the islets, Liancourt Rocks, can the Dokdo islets in the East Sea be located on Google’s online map service. The search engine calls the disputed islets “Liancourt Rocks/Dokdo/Takeshima.”

The same results are found when searching in both English and Korean on the online map service.

Korea administers the Dokdo islets, which are located some 87.4 kilometers to the east of Ulleung Island in North Gyeongsang. Japan also claims Dokdo and calls it Takeshima.

A search for “Takeshima” on Google Maps brings up a closed restaurant in Brookline, Massachusetts.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government said Friday that it recently discovered Google’s online map service did not properly mark Seoul as South Korea’s capital, or the Dokdo islets at all, and asked the American tech company to resolve the issue.

Google Maps showed the capitals of neighboring countries including Beijing, Tokyo and Taipei clearly marked, but when zoomed out failed to show Seoul, according to the city government.

Even when the map was zoomed in, Pyongyang was marked as North Korea’s capital. However, in South Korea only Seongnam, a city outside Seoul in Gyeonggi, was marked.

When magnified further, the map showed cities like Daegu and Gwangju and Jeju Island, but Seoul could not be spotted.

The Seoul government added that after it noticed the map issues, it asked Google Korea to resolve the issue and the company responded that the maps would be updated soon.

Seoul was restored as the capital on Google Maps on Friday, but the Dokdo search has not been updated as of Monday.

BY SARAH KIM [kim.sarah@joongang.co.kr]

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