Iran developing its own "Islamic Google Earth"

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Iran is said to be developing its own 3D mapping service that will be ready for use within four months. The announcement related to the mapping service was made by Mohammad Hassan Nami, Iran's minister for information and communications technology, who mentioned that the service will be an "Islamic Google Earth" and has been named Basir (which means spectator in Farsi).

The development was reported by The Guradian which cited a report by semi-official news agency, Mehr, that had quoted Nami saying that preparations were underway for launching its 3D map project. The report also said that Iranian authorities were creating an appropriate data centre which would be able to process a large volume of information.

"We are doing our best to launch the Islamic Google Earth in the next four months as an Islamic republic's national portal, providing service on a global scale," said the minister.

"On the surface, Google Earth is providing a service to users, but in reality security and intelligence organisations are behind it in order to obtain information from other countries," he added.

Nami mentioned that Iran was developing this service keeping in consideration Islamic views in Iran and that it would be different from Google Earth, which belonged to the 'ominous triangle of the US, England and the Zionists'. He did not give more details about the service.

Iranian authorities have been reportedly filtering Google search and Google Earth results as it looks at these services with suspicion calling them a spying tool.

We had earlier reported that Iran was developing new software to control social networking sites to prevent Iranians from being exposed to malicious content online.

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