Google Battles South Korea for Better Maps Data

Google is hoping South Korea will loosen some of its restrictions on Google Maps.

Google argues that South Korea's laws only help local competitors, like the country's largest search engine Naver, and ultimately hurt innovation across the country, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Naver and Google competitor Kakao use maps supplied by the government, which include areas where military-related items are blurred or camoflauged. Google, however, uses its own mapping technology because it has been unable to obtain a license to use government-supplied data.

Indeed, those who use Google Maps in Korea will find that its features are rather anemic. While it includes support for transit directions, it lacks driving, walking, and cycling directions, as well as in-car navigation, the Journal points out.

The holdup is that Korea wants Google to censor locations it deems sensitive around the globe, not just in Korea. Google has denied the request, causing the row over access to licensed data.

The Journal reports that Google will be holding a "closed door meeting" on Wednesday to discuss the company's concerns.

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