China: Cop catches suspect using Google Earth

A post from GSeeker‘s Ken Wong late last week which looks at how a newbie cop in south-eastern China's Fujian province was able to use Google Earth to track down a human trafficking suspect by making a database with it (and an English-Chinese dictionary) of village residents:

Google Earth强大无比,美国人用它来进行选举投票、救灾,印度人用它来保护土地,用途非常多。但一直以来,似乎没怎么听说过Google Earth在中国有社会用途的。一方面除了是因为Google Earth无法提供中国地区高清图像,另一方面是由于Google Earth没有简体中文版,流行程度相对其它国家及地区较低。但现在不同了,Google Earth已经成为中国民警创建卫星地图管辖区的得力工具了。怎么回事?

Google Earth is unmatched in its might; Americans use it to hold elections, for disaster relief; Indians use it to protect land, and it has way many more uses. But all along, it seems like one never hears of Google Earth having any social application here in China. One reason, if not for Google Earth's inability to provide high-definition images of areas of China, it's because Google Earth has no Simplified Chinese version, and its degree of popularity is much lower compared to Other Countries and Territories. But things are different now: Google Earth has already become an effective tool by allowing China's People's Police to create satellite maps of their jurisdictions. Say what?

GSeeker读者朋友”jiang shuai”今天推荐了新华网上的一则消息,即福州马尾亭江派出所长柄警务室民警林祥春已利用Google Earth创建了卫星地图管辖区。大概的经过是,林祥春花了一个月的时间,把管辖区的重点信息全加在Google Earth的图像上了。这是发生在今年1、2月份的事。从这件事里,我们可以看出几点:

GSeeker reader “jiang shuai” recommended a XinhuaNet story today, of Li Xiangchun of the Changbing village, Maweitingjiang township police station in Fuzhou, who has been using Google Earth to create satellite maps of his jurisdiction [photo]. Roughly, the story goes, Lin Xiangchun spent a month inputting the key spots of his jurisdiction onto a Google Earth image. This took place over January and February of this year. From this, we observe the following few points:

1.Google Earth获中国”官方”认可了,虽然这样说有点牵强,但希望这种消息能广泛传播。

2.如果林祥春迟几个月开始用Google Earth,那他是不用这么辛苦查英汉字典的,因为Google Earth繁体中文版8月推出了。

3.类似的地图还可以用谷歌地图的”我的地图”功能来创建,虽然没有卫星图,但地图信息还是比Google Earth详尽的。当然,也可以用Google Maps的My Maps功能创建,还能省去安装Google Earth的步骤呢。

1. Google Earth has earned China's “official” recognition. Even if it is a little far-fetched to say so, one still hopes that this kind of information can spread further.

2. If Lin Xiangchun had started using Google Earth just a few months later, he wouldn't have had to go through so much trouble looking up all those English words, because Google Earth came out with a Traditional Chinese version in August.

3. Such a map could still have been created using's “My Maps” application; even though there are no satellite images, the information on the maps is even more detailed than [that found on] Google Earth. Of course, using Google Maps’ My Maps application to create saves one the trouble of installing Google Earth.


“有一次,福州市边防支队找到林祥春,表示要在他的辖区内,抓捕一名外号叫做”阿胖”的蛇头,但是边防官兵只知道 “阿胖”以前是个杀猪的,并不知道其真名和真地址。林祥春在进行详细排查后,确定”阿胖”真名为王某航,但不确定其是否在家,如果民警贸然前去探路,又担心会打草惊蛇,引起对方怀疑。

于是,林祥春调出卫星地图平台,指认出王某航的住处,派一名信息员前去盯守。当天傍晚,在接信息员报告后,林祥春带着边防官兵,赶到王某航家中,成功抓获王某航。 “

Is there any meaning in building this kind of map? There obviously is, as according to the report:

“There was one time, when someone from Fuzhou Border Security came looking for Lin Xiangchun, wanting to apprehend a snakehead going by the name of “Fatty” who was living in Lin's jurisdiction; all the BS officer knew was that “Fatty” had previously been a pig butcher, but nothing on his real name or address. Lin Xiangchun carried out a careful investigation and was able to determine “Fatty's” name to be Wang Mouhang; Lin was unable to determine, however, whether or not he would be at home, and worried that any rash police visit would arouse the snakehead's suspicions, and send him running.

From there, Lin came up with a satellite map, used it to identify Wang Mouhang's residence, and sent a scout to go stake it out. That evening, when the rookie came back with a report, Lin Xiangchun and the BS officer rushed into Wang Mouhang's home, and successfully apprehended him.”



The result? Half a year later:

“Today, September 21, the provincial public security director, Fuzhou municipality member of the CPC standing committee, secretary of the Political Law Committee and director of the municipal PSB, Wang Xin, went down to the Changbing police station for a work inspection, praising the police station's hardware and software equipment, as well as delivering praise to Lin Xiangchun for his satellite map platform to no end, putting forth that police workstations from across the city must learn from the Changbing station.”

其实如果更多人知道Google Earth有繁体中文版的话,相信类似的应用在中国会越来越多的。只是有时候,用的人越多,也不一定是好事。

If only more people knew about Google Earth's Traditional Chinese version, I believe that similar applications would be seen more and more in China; it's just that sometimes, more people using them isn't always a good thing.

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