Google relaunches 3-D map service after removing classified sites

A screenshot of the three-dimensional map of Taoyuan

TAIPEI (CNA) — Google has released a new version of the three-dimensional map of Taoyuan it suspended a year ago after removing images of classified military bases at the request of the government, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Monday.

Google re-launched its 3D imaging service in Taiwan by posting its 3D map of Taoyuan on April 30 after deleting images of four restricted military areas in the northern city, said MND spokesman Shih Shun-wen (史順文).

The company is expected to do the same with the maps for Taipei, New Taipei and Taichung cities in the near future after removing images of 11 restricted military areas in the three cities, according to Shih.

Google first began offering 3-D map services of the four cities in February 2019 before pulling the service later the same month at the request of the government after netizens discovered that a number of classified military facilitates were exposed in detail.

The MND and the Ministry ofBy Matt Yu and Joseph YehInterior asked Google at the time to remove those images for confidentiality reasons in accordance with Taiwan’s Land Surveying and Mapping Act and Vital Area Regulations.

Asked to comment, Google Taiwan told CNA on Monday its Google Maps service “works closely with all relevant local authorities and takes the appropriate steps before launching imagery.”