There are a lot of differences between Bing (Microsoft) and Google maps – I won’t list them all here but lets say Bing has a bit of catching up to do.
OK so you’re probably thinking – but I thought they were in the UK – well if you’re thinking that you’d be wrong.
Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man are British Crown Dependencies – not part of the UK, not part of Great Britain, but autonomous juristictions that pass legislation through the Crown.
So seeing (U.K.) under Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man on the Bing Maps was a bit of a red rag and bull scenario.
Normally I would have just let it go though – it didn’t bother me THAT much, or at least not enough to stir me into action.
But, as you probably already know I’m working on an interactive map of my own for the BBC and as the BBC uses Bing Maps, and as my interactive map had Jersey as a focus – I needed to find a solution.
He was raving about the number of interactive maps on the BBC using Bing – and they are fairly impressive.
So I left a comment saying:
I’m working on an interactive map for BBC Jersey that should go live in August looking at the islands beaches.
My only concern is that they label Jersey and Guernsey as UK and I KNOW I’ll get complaints about that from islanders as Jersey isn’t in the UK.
I can’t say I REALLY expected a response but to his credit I DID get this in reply – not a solution but at least an explanation.
Ryan – good eye. Guernsey is not part of the UK, but it is controlled by it, since Guernsey is a dependency of the UK and not an independent nation state. We currently label dependencies with a parenthetical “controlling power” suffix, so that is why you see the “(UK)” after the name.
It seems this may cause confusion. In our data model, that island is not part of the UK, but I can see how that subtle distinction might be lost given the way it is labeled. We’ll have have to investigate how to make this more clear, but at least you’ll have an answer for your customers if/when they ask.
So I took that response and spoke to people that work around creating the maps for the BBC and was able to get a fault ticket raised with Microsoft over the issue.
An e-mail came back hours later saying that they agree with my analysis – that it shouldn’t have UK at all – and will contact the third parties responsible for the maps and data to see if it can be changed in the next update cycle.
So in the next few months Bing maps should no longer say (U.K.).
And they even found a solution for third party uses of Bing maps – so the BBC uses – that involves replacing the tiles in question and scrubbing out (U.K.).
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