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Google Maps accidentally reveals Taiwan defense missiles

Defense minister Yen said the issue is currently being resolved

Patriot defense missile system on Google Maps (Google)

Patriot defense missile system on Google Maps (Google)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Google revealed a 3D-rendered map of Taipei on Wednesday, and along with it revealed the secret location of some of Taiwan’s Patriot defense missiles.

Google Maps first announced intentions to stereophotogrammetrically map the world’s major cities in 2012. Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan and Taichung joined hundred of other already-rendered global hubs on Wednesday.

The Ministry of National Defense is concerned, however, after it became apparent some of the country’s defense infrastructure is now openly visible to the public. Minister of National Defense Yen Teh-fa (嚴德發) said that the ministry and other related departments have contacted Google to make adjustments to ensure national security is safeguarded.

Google said the new 3D-rendered city maps will give people a more diverse and detailed look at the world, CNA reports.

Aside from the pictured Patriot missiles in New Taipei’s Xindian District (新店區), the map reveals the exact location and structures of the National Security Bureau and the Military Intelligence Bureau in detail.

Yen said in an interview at the Legislative Yuan Friday that after the situation is taken under control, the defense ministry and related departments will cooperate with Google to ensure the company makes appropriate adjustments so that the combat effectiveness of important military facilities is not compromised.

“The site of defense infrastructure at times of peace does not indicate its location at times of war,” Yan reassured, urging the public to remain at ease.

Yen told CNA that all countries now face this problem as commercial telemetric satellite technology has become extremely advanced. The military will undertake some examinations to deal with the issue, he said, but it will not affect regular military operations.

Protection from the mapping project may be viable under the Fort Act (要塞堡壘地帶法), Yan commented, but whether the scope of the law covers the concealment of barrack sites requires further discussion.