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China come up with its own high-resolution mapping service on the Web may steal Google viewers

After Google exiting the mainland China, site like Baidu are on the advantage by increasing its market share. Now adding more worry to the google is that china has launched an official online mapping service called Map World.

This web-based service gives people access to increasingly detailed satellite images of China and high-level images of other nations.

The flat maps can be viewed in 3D if visitors download and install a browser plug-in to convert the images.

China said the service was still in development and would be updated regularly. It said it could currently handle about 10 million visits per day.

Map World has been created by China's State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping from satellite images collected over the last four years. It said the information depicted would be updated every six months.

Mapping services are tightly restricted in China and any company wanting to offer them must obtain a licence. This imposes strict conditions on what they can show and where the servers hosting the service can be located.

The Mapping bureau said about 80 companies, including Nokia, had bought mapping licences. Google is not thought to be one of them.

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