Madaba & Google Maps

For a while now, Google Maps has been displaying the names of towns and cities in the countries’ local languages when you pan over them. So for example, when you go over Japan, you’ll see the name of towns in Japanese with English subtext. This is similar for European and Arabian countries.

Interestingly enough however, Israel-Palestine has been mostly blank with only English written there. That made me curious because Google, like many other tech companies, tries to remain neutral when it comes to international political issues, and i wanted to see how they handle this one. So i kept on checking back often.

Today I noticed that they started to display Hebrew names in pre-1967 areas (which is politically safe). Interestingly however, the Hebrew words only appear when you are not zoomed in to see the individual city names.

Anyway, what is really funny is that they have hugely misspelled the Arabic name of Madaba. Here is a screenshot below:


Btw, I couldn’t find a link to report this mistranslation, otherwise i would have reported it.

  1. HAHAHA … I wanna see “ضوباي”

  2. Take a look down south at معن LOL!! makes you feel like we’re from another planet…. What is that are they using google translator now?

  3. hay, i was in that exact same situation, but with irbid not madaba, you can see in your screen shot its also written incorrectly إربيد … i looked it up, apparently the data is not owned by google, rather by teleatlas , so this link might be helpful .

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