This was originally posted on Maptia, for the original post click here: Taiwan Province?
I have been using the Maptia service for a while to syndicate the blogs that I write about Taiwan. Maptia is an excellent format for bloggers and story tellers to literally put their stories on the map for people all over the world to see them.
The website offers a beautiful design format and is great for photographers, especially travel photographers like myself who want to promote their work to a larger audience.
When you publish a story on Maptia you have to add your post to a map that will allow viewers who are interested in specific areas of the world to read stories from bloggers and photographers alike. This system is great for a lot of people, but unfortunately I've found that if you are living in Taiwan, you are likely to be a bit disappointed.
Maptia uses a mapping system known as Open Street Map which is a constantly changing and improving map system that derives information from users around the world. Unfortunately for people like myself who live in Taiwan, Open Street Map's in this country include the demeaning and blatantly false "Taiwan Province" in the address.
There are a number of explanations for this specific issue with Open Street Maps and not all of them are due to the precarious political situation Taiwan finds itself in with its largest neighbour to the west.
If the sole purpose of sharing stories on Maptia is to add the blogs to the map, I don't see how I can continue posting my blogs under "Taiwan Province" as the current situation really only provides for addresses with Taiwan's capital of Taipei having mostly correct location information.
For me, and the twenty-three million people living in Taiwan, this is problematic.
Taiwan is NOT a province.
Taiwan is a sovereign self-governing democratic nation that just so happens to be highly developed and one of the safest and most beautiful places that you'll ever have the luck of visiting.
At first I gave Maptia the benefit of the doubt because not all of my posts would end up with "Taiwan Province" in the address - But as I'm reaching my tenth post on the site already, I've found that 80% of my posts have this ridiculous and demeaning title added to the address.
So, I have a choice - Do I continue posting on Maptia to increase my following and allow for my posts to reach a much wider audience OR do I just take a break from Maptia altogether until things improve?
I got in touch with a service rep at Maptia last week and he was extremely helpful and polite. We emailed back and forth for a few days in order to try to solve the problem but ultimately it was out of his hands as the addresses on the maps that they use are set by Open Street Map and he apologized for the inconvenience.
I realize that this is a sensitive issue for a lot of corporations but the reality of the matter is that it is extremely hard to dispute the sovereignty of this nation that I have called home for the past decade.
For that reason, I've chosen to take a break from posting on Maptia for the time being as well as removing all of my posts from the map. I hope that in the future that this problem will be solved and that Maptia will once again become a great platform for travel bloggers and photographers in Taiwan just as it is for people all over the world.
Until that time, you can find me here and in syndication on Apple News or on any of the social media links below!