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Did Flickr Eliminate Israel?

An Israeli photography website discovers that Flickr has removed the maps of Israel from its site.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 11/12/2012, 5:14 AM

Offices of Yahoo!, Flickr's parent company
Offices of Yahoo!, Flickr's parent company
Reuters

Flickr, one of the largest social photo hosting services, has decided to remove the maps of Israel from its site, the Israeli photography website MegaPixel.co.il has found out.

In an article published on the website on Sunday, it was noted that several weeks ago, photographer Giora Pinhasi, a long time writer with MegaPixel, discovered that the old maps of Israel were completely removed from Flickr.

Only the names of three major cities were left – Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa. The rest, including cities, towns, villages and streets were all removed, leaving practically a blank map of the entire country.

Pinhasi, reported the website, decided to contact Flickr himself and try and find out if this is simply a technical glitch. After speaking with one company representative who did not supply any answers he was referred to Flickr's customer service, which also would not answer.

Furthermore, noted MegaPixel, a closer look at the Flickr map service finds that the maps used are not those of Flickr but are actually powered by Finish mobile giant Nokia. Nokia Maps, a service similar to Google Maps and other online street mapping services, also has Israel as completely blank (apart from three major city names).

At the same time, the photography website noted, Flickr map service also uses an open map service called Leaflet. Leaflet uses a map database from another site called openstreetmap.org which actually has very detailed street maps of every city in Israel.

Following the discovery, MegaPixel contacted Yahoo!, Flickr's parent company, in order to try and get some official answers. The site was promised a response by Yahoo! but the company failed to provide one within two weeks.