LIBYA: Google Maps turns Green Square into Martyrs’ Square

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After Libyan rebels took over Tripoli’s Green Square late Sunday night, they renamed it Martyrs’ Square, as it was known before Moammar Kadafi rose to power nearly 42 years ago.

The Internet immediately took note.

Contributors to Google’s map of Tripoli have already renamed the square. The quick update is part of an effort to allow users to edit Google maps in real time in nearly 200 countries, including, as of this year, the U.S. Various users took credit for making the change, but it was not clear who was responsible.

It was not surprising to see Libyans translate action on the ground to Google maps. This year, Libyans used Google maps to report clashes in and around Tripoli and to track the progress of rebel fighters across Libya.

However, it remained to be seen late Monday whether the Martyrs’ Square name change would stick. All Google map edits are supposed to be verified by Google staff before they become permanent. The Green Square name change was still listed as ‘unverified’ late Monday. Some were posting screen shots of the new map, just in case.



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-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske