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Dokdo unlabeled on Apple Maps in 22 countries

Korean professor to file complaints with Apple to correct Dokdo marking on iPhone’s built-in map application

By Kan Hyeong-woo

Published : Aug. 25, 2022 - 14:57

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Apple iPhone’s built-in map application shows no marks of South Korea’s Dokdo islets. (Prof. Seo Kyoung-duk’s Facebook account) Apple iPhone’s built-in map application shows no marks of South Korea’s Dokdo islets. (Prof. Seo Kyoung-duk’s Facebook account)
Apple Maps, iPhone’s built-in map application, was found to have no labeling of the Dokdo islets in over 20 countries across the world, a South Korean professor claimed on Thursday.

Seo Kyoung-duk, a general education professor at Sungshin Women’s University, wrote in a post on his social media accounts that iPhone’s built-in map application in 22 countries had no recognition of South Korea’s easternmost islets, citing his social media followers as sources.

The list of 22 countries were Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Laos, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Poland, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam, according to Seo.

The professor, who is well-known for his Dokdo-promoting activities, on Saturday asked his social media followers to report how iPhones in different countries label Dokdo in Apple Maps in a post on his Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Seo pointed out that iPhones in Japan showed “Takeshima” -- a term that Tokyo uses to promote the islets as Japanese territory -- on the Dokdo islets.

Apple Korea could not be reached for comment.

The professor mentioned that a similar issue was found with Google Maps in 2019. Google Maps in 26 countries marked Dokdo as the “Liancourt Rocks,” while the application in South Korea identified the islets as Dokdo, and in Japan, they were labeled as Takeshima.

The Liancourt Rocks were named after a French whaling ship that almost ran aground Dokdo in 1849.

Seo said he has been filing complaints against Google to change the label from Liancourt Rocks to Dokdo for the past three years as the islets in the East Sea are Korean territory, but no changes have been made yet.

“It is a big problem that Google and Apple, which are searched and used by billions of people daily, have mislabeled Dokdo or do not mark the islets at all,” he said. “I plan to put together new reference data on Dokdo’s naming and send a protest e-mail to Apple and Google to demand corrections soon.”