Thursday, May 17, 2012

For Once, I Agree With Iran

TEHRAN -- Iran on Thursday threatened legal action against Google after becoming angered by the US internet giant's choice of names on its mapping software. 
The name of the patch of water between Iran and the Arabian peninsula is a contentious issue, with Shiite Iran insisting it is the "Persian Gulf." 
Sunni Muslim Arab states across the water call it the "Arabian Gulf," or just the "Gulf," and Google opts to keep it nameless on its maps. 
Europeans have been calling it "the Persian Gulf" since at least the seventeenth century.  I am not sure legal action is sensible or even enforceable, but what next?  Is Google going to go all PC on us and start calling North America "Turtle Island"?


  1. Google often does something completely baffling to Maps. For example, during the "8-8-8" war they completely blanked out Georgia. Just white spot. And they included Abkhazia into it. What in the world were they trying to accomplish by it?

  2. This naming convention reminds me of a couple of other situations, where there just isn't a neutral term for some place. That place in Jerusalem is either the "Temple Mount" or the "Dome of the Rock", and which ever term you use, you've taken one side or the other. Much like the case with "the Falklands" and the "Islas Malvinas". But this example borders on the absurd, since it has been "the Persian Gulf" in English-speaking countries since at least the American Revolution and George III.