/maps/community?hl=en
/maps/community?hl=en
6/18/09
Original Poster
asianxpat

Mainland China maps and satellite images aren't aligned - Google can you fix this please?

If you look at any maps of mainland China, specifically for me the maps of Wuhan and Shanghai, and switch between the satellite and map views, you can see that the maps are offset to the satellite view.  Using an iphone on the ground, it's obvious that the satellite images are in the correct 'location' but the map view seems to be offset to the south-east by a significant margin.  Any chance of a fix?  Not such an issue on the web, but quite confusing for google map users with GPS.
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All Replies (47)
EmptySenti
7/16/09
EmptySenti
I noticed that too but in Xiamen.  Also, get an Android phone.  hehe.
InspiresMe
8/13/09
InspiresMe
This is for Beijing as well... in fact I think it is for all of China. Maybe it is some sort of way to keep us from knowing our exact locations? Mwahaha...
matthewsummerton
8/28/09
matthewsummerton
The map view is off, by about 200 meters to the east, where as the satelite view is correct. I have traveled from Xi'an to Tianjin and it has the same problem all the way between these two cities. Looking at the coments on this page it seems the whole of China is off.
dr_m
9/10/09
dr_m
Despite what asianxpat says, this offset is indeed present on the web. However, it's only present in google.com - if you use google.cn then there is no offset. However, since the iPhone uses the .com info it renders the iPhone's GPS as useless in Beijing. It seems like it would be trivial for google to fix this, so why haven't they?!
EmptySenti
9/10/09
EmptySenti
Yeah, Google.cn 地图 also has a lot more info although its in Chinese.  I would be nice if users had the option of viewing the maps with that Chinese layer or English along with the hybrid street/satellite view. But first please fix this problem with the offset googs.
dr_m
9/10/09
dr_m
I think maybe google are aware of this. Normally in google maps if you check out the satellite image it shows the roads overlaid. This is indeed what happens for google.cn, BUT NOT for google.com. That indicates that they probably disabled their map overlay in the satellite image after realised the offset. By the way, if you check out this page it demonstrates an amusing trick you can play using the 'traffic' feature which demonstrates the offset (which, for Beijing, is just over 500m).
dr_m
9/23/09
dr_m
Actually, the google.cn maps are also incorrect - it appears that they shift the satellite image, which is the correct one! So GPS will still be screwed up even if the iPhone uses google.cn info. But it seems this is not just a google problem - it also affects Microsoft's Bing maps. I guess this is most likely due to some government interference. I'll be curious to see what happens when the iPhone is released here.
baudav
9/26/09
baudav
The satellite view is not overlay on the map in Beijing. 
And to the satellite is displaced orbits compared to GPS (and also on GoogleMaps Mobile for WM)

While everything is overlay on 'maps.google.cn' but can not display in a language other than Chinese!
9/27/09
Original Poster
asianxpat
I've noticed that Google has now added English to their China maps, which is fantastic. The offset is still there, however.  What surprises me is that there is no offset on Nokia maps in China.  They get their information from Navteq (and their Chinese subsidiary), while Google gets their information from TeleAtlas, I believe, so that may be a factor.
You can see how abrupt the change is if you zoom in on the Lok Ma Chau border crossing from HK to Shenzhen - HK maps are perfectly aligned and all the streets shown.  Then you get to the bridge over the border, and according to the map view you would fall off the bridge and into the river...
On a positive note, when apple gets round to selling iphones on the mainland, which sounds like it may happen reasonably soon, we could expect this to be fixed, unless they want a flood of complaints from their mainland chinese users as well.
baudav
9/27/09
baudav
I found another China GoogleMaps (map in chinese :(  but menu in english:  go to ditu.google.com 
Satellite view overlay is OK
 

36 MORE
JeffJ123
9/18/11
JeffJ123
As a follow up: I figured out the settings for google search were set to Chinese (again) and this is why I was not seeing the English or Pin Yin on ditu.google.com. If you guys are not seeing the pinyin, just be sure your google search is set to "English". In China it often resets itself to Chinese for some reason.
 
Now if we could as easily figure out why my Android maps app is aligned and the Apple one isn't, then I think we would have something!
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