Nokia Maps missing Israel, Cyprus from its maps

Nokia Maps does not display the majority of country and city mapping information for both Israel and Cyprus, affecting other online services using the data, such as Flickr.

Nokia Maps does not display the majority of country and city mapping information for both Israel and Cyprus, affecting other online services using the data, such as Flickr.

A screenshot from Nokia's Maps web interface, which shows the lack of mapping data for Israel, spare a few city names. (Screenshot by CBSi)

The glitch was first noticed by Israeli photography website Megapixel.co.il, which reported that photo-sharing website Flickr has missing mapping and geotagging information for Israel. Digging a little deeper, the site uncovered that only three of the country's major cities are cited on the map, with all street information missing. Surrounding countries appear to be as normal.

Nokia Maps provides the mapping service for Flickr, and performing a quick search on its web interface for Israel shows the same issue — only three cities are cited on the map. Click around the other surrounding countries, and all of the mapping data appears intact.

Flickr uses Nokia Maps to help users geotag their images, but it appears that Cyprus, an island country in the Mediterranean, doesn't even exist, according to this map. (Screenshot by CBSi)

CNET Australia has also found that Cyprus lacks mapping information, with a search on the web interface turning up nothing but a few place names on the island country. The North/South divide appears to be mapped out, but the nation's capital cities and roads do not appear at all.

Even more curious is the fact that Flickr uses an open-source service called Leaflet for its interactive maps. Leaflet grabs data from OpenStreetMap, which displays full street, city and country mapping data for both Israel and Cyprus.

On OpenStreetMap, Cyprus definitely exists, including all of the city and street mapping information. (Screenshot by CBSi)

Nokia Maps will power the mapping services in Windows Phone 8 devices. The Finnish company is one of the biggest providers of mapping information in the world, thanks to its 2007 investment in Navteq. The company has also claimed 80 per cent market saturation of in-dash navigation and after-market devices.

Customer queries on Nokia's support forums have also highlighted the lack of mapping data for Israeli roads in 2010 and 2011.

Updated at 10.05am, November 13: Nokia Australia has responded to CNET Australia's request for comment with the following statements in regards to mapping data in Israel and Cyprus.

Nokia has the world's largest maps and navigation platform, with voice-guided navigation for around 100 countries worldwide and maps available for over 190 countries and regions. As per Nokia's long-standing policy, we are committed to neutrality and impartiality with regards to political issues. While we currently do not offer maps for Cyprus, we work hard on refining and improving Nokia Maps continuously and make maps available in as many countries and regions as possible. Because of these efforts we are confident that we will be able to offer maps for Cyprus in the coming months.

Nokia has the world's largest maps and navigation platform, with voice-guided navigation for around 100 countries worldwide and maps available for more than 190 countries and regions. In order to guarantee our users the best experience when using Nokia Maps we aim for the highest possible quality standards when offering our service. Based on the available map data, we work hard on refining and improving Nokia Maps continuously and make maps available in as many countries and regions as possible. Because of these efforts we are confident that we will be able to offer maps for Israel in the coming months.
 

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