Google puts South Sudan on maps


Google has updated its maps to include the newly independent nation of South Sudan. The move follows a campaign by a South Sudanese journalist, who posted an online petition calling for the new nation to be marked on web maps.

He said his country was still missing from websites including Microsoft, Yahoo! and National Geographic. The country became independent in July following decades of conflict in which some two million people died.

Journalist John Tanza Mabusu, who is South Sudanese but lives in Washington, launched a petition on the website The petition, which got 1,600 backers, called on mapping services to include the new nation.

"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 recognised South Sudan on their maps, the other major online mapping services will quickly follow suit."

National Geographic said its print maps and mobile apps had been updated, but its online mapping service was outsourced to the Bing maps website, which uses Microsoft maps.

Bing's map of Sudan does not yet have the Sudanese border marked, although its information on the South's capital city of Juba clearly indicates it is part of South Sudan. It was unclear whether Google's amendment to the Sudan map came as a result of the online campaign.