The Conflict Between Russia and Georgia

Conflict in GeorgiaThe recent conflict between Russia and Georgia has been a huge news story lately, overshadowed by only the Olympics. Taking place in a foreign, unfamiliar area, many people have been turning to online mapping sources to help better understand the situation.
SearchEngineWorld did a comparison of the quality of data in Georgia across the three major online maps (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo). They picked Microsoft as the clear winner, and Google as the clear loser due to a lack of data in the area.
Google has explained the lack of data on their LatLong blog. In a nutshell, they haven’t been able to find data that is good enough in the region, so they simply haven’t posted much of anything. They insist that no data has been removed for political reasons — it’s just never been there. Both Google and SearchEngineWorld agree that basic data beats no data at all, and Google is preparing to launch some new data in Georgia, as well as Armenia, Azerbaijan and “other significant regions of the world”.
If you’re looking for some extended data for the region, there are some good choices. Catholicgauze has posted some excellent files in the Keyhole BBS. Other useful resources include a map of the latest Georgia-related YouTube videos, a nice Google Map-based overview from Maplandia, and a large collection of information in this file on Google Earth Hacks.
If you know of other great sources for map data related to the conflict, please share them with the rest of us by posting in the comments below.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. Wikimapia layer is really helpful (unless you can’t read Russian; many of Wikimapia landmarks in Ossetia were not yet translated into English).

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