Before and After Shots of Google's Iran Maps

There many places in the world where it is not possible for larger companies to map them. These can be for economic reasons as is the case for Black Rock City (the temporary 40,000 person home for Burning Man). Or for political reasons as is the case for Iran and countries such as China.

As I mentioned the other day Google greatly improved their map coverage of Iran via user contributions through their Mapmaker program. These user contributions were applied just a few weeks ago. Here are before and after screenshots of two Iranian cities. The before shot was taken on September 22, 2008; the after shots were taken on May 18, 2009.

Mashhad (Before and After)

mashhad before mashhad after

Tabriz (Before and After)

tabriz before tabriz after

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  • Romania map looks the same as “before” in google maps. I wonder if we need a revolution so that the maps are updated. Yahoo maps have the details for Romania, why not Google ?

  • Given the usefulness of mapping data
    to an invading army, I really hope the Iranian security people can’t see the identity of the contributors!

  • I’m guessing they can’t drive their vans around in Iran.

  • Richard

    I’ll be impressed when one can “time travel” through street views and satellite imagery.

  • OpenStreetMap has beaten them to the punch in Mashhad: . There are far more roads on the OSM map.

    However, OSM obviously doesn’t have a volunteer near Tabriz: .

  • Hi, Brady. There’s a lot of new interest in my “networked homeland security” strategy, in part because of dramatic examples such as Iran where people are using social media to connect, and in part because of growing power of handheld personal devices & increasing options for social media to harness that power. I’ll use this example in speech I’m making to a DHS workshop on Tuesday.THX
    — David