Google’s World: The Impact of “Agnostic Cartographers” on the State-Dominated International Legal System


While Google’s cartographic platforms, Maps and Earth, are the most widely used mapping services in the world, their methodology for affixing borders and naming key features is completely unregulated and deviates from traditional mapping doctrine.  Google customizes its maps to adhere to each individual country’s beliefs and laws, so that its maps do not show a single and objective reality, but rather affirm existing perspectives of the world.  This Note seeks to explore the legal implications of customized cartography as it pertains to relations between states, the role of non-governmental and supranational organizations as governing bodies for geopolitics, and the shift toward both private entities and the general public as significant actors in the future development of public international law.


54 Colum. J. Transnat'l L. 425