Delhi Police on 4 April 2013 launched an inquiry against the Internet Giant Google over its contest Mapathon 2013, following a complaint received by the Survey of India. The Mapathon contest was conducted by Google in February-March 2013.
As per the compliant from Survey of India (SOI), the activity of Mapathon 2013 violated the National Map Policy and likely jeopardizes the national security interest. The participants of the contest, being unaware of the law of the land would have violated the law.
A letter was also written to Google India’s Office by the Additional Surveyor-General of India R.C. Padhi asking the internet giant to stop its activity of map uploading, as the activity is against the Indian Policy Guidelines. Survey of India is the only body that has been provided, the power of mapping and surveying the nation.
The Preamble of the National Map Policy, 2005 states that, the responsibility for producing, maintaining and disseminating the topographic map database of the whole country, which is the foundation of all spatial data vests with the Survey of India.
Mapathon 2013 Contest
Mapathon 2013 was a contest created by Google in which it asked the Indian Citizens to map their neighbourhood and send the same to Google for being uploaded on the search engines. Rewards to the 1000 best entries were also announced by Google. The contest was conducted from 12 February to 25 March 2013.
Terms and Conditions Mentioned in the Mapathon 2013 Contest
The Mapathon 2013 clearly mentioned in its terms and conditions that the individuals themselves were responsible for their submissions and consequences that may arise after the maps and content provided by them were posted on the search engines.
This exercise of the individuals directly lands the individuals into trouble for violating the law of the land, unknowingly – if they map some restricted areas that may hamper the security of the nation.