Google to correct map highlighting Rio slums

Apr 26, 2011
View from the shantytown complex that includes the Pavao, Pavaozinho and Cantagalo slums in Rio de Janeiro, in January 2011. Internet giant Google has agreed to redo its online map of Rio de Janeiro within a year after being criticized for giving undue prominence to the Brazilian city's notorious favelas.

Internet giant Google has agreed to redo its online map of Rio de Janeiro within a year after being criticized for giving undue prominence to the Brazilian city's notorious favelas.

" never intended to defame Rio," Google's director of communications in Brazil, Felix Ximenes, told O Globo newspaper, noting that the person who drew up the map was himself a Rio native.

A current visitor to finds a favela in almost every area of the city, which is preparing to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.

Google has pledged within six months to a year to update the map so the names of normal neighborhoods and streets are given more prominence rather than the slums.

Roughly one third of Rio's six million population live in slums perched on its steep hillsides, many of which are considered no-go areas due to gangs and criminals.

But, in contrast to the impression given on the map, the favelas occupy just 3.8 percent of the city's total area, said institute for town planning Pereira Matos, quoted by O Globo.

The map could lead people to presume the city was simply "a conglomeration of slums," said O Globo, noting it highlighted even the smallest favelas but missed off important tourist attractions and large residential neighborhoods.

A huge military operation late last year sought to drive drug traffickers out of the slums. Police cracked down again on one of the largest favelas just last week, arresting 11 people and seizing three tonnes of marijuana.

Explore further: A forced PIN for all credit cards won't stop the biggest fraud

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Rio youth use GPS phones to put favelas on map

Oct 17, 2009

Rio's favelas are home to a third of the city's population, but are almost invisible on maps -- a situation five young women are trying to change with the help of GPS and the Internet.

Google's citizen cartographers map out the world

Mar 31, 2011

Google on Thursday revealed that an army of citizen cartographers is behind its widely used mapping service, helping the Internet search giant chart the world, including often inaccessible places.

Don't put us on the Google map, says German village

Nov 03, 2010

A day after a small town became the first in Germany to welcome Google's controversial Street View service with open arms and cake, a tiny northern village responded Wednesday with a resounding "nein." ...

China launches own version of Google Earth

Oct 22, 2010

China has launched an official online mapping service as US Internet giant Google continues to hold out on applying for a licence to provide a similar service in the country, state media said Friday.

Recommended for you

Irish bookmaker apologizes for 2010 data breach

15 minutes ago

(AP)—Irish betting company Paddy Power announced Thursday it is notifying hundreds of thousands of customers that most of their profile information was stolen in 2010, but hackers did not gain their credit card details ...

Misinformation diffusing online

2 hours ago

The spread of misinformation through online social networks is becoming an increasingly worrying problem. Researchers in India have now modeled how such fictions and diffuse through those networks. They described details ...

User comments : 0