Seven Chinese government departments, including the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping, have jointly announced plans to start a one-year campaign to promote a nationwide rectification of China's geographical information market and to fight illegal surveying and illegal publication of Internet maps.
In recent years, China's geographical information services have developed rapidly with an average annual growth rate of over 20% in output. In 2007, the industry scale of China's geographical information market reached CNY50 billion and it provided jobs for more than 300,000 people.
With the development of this industry, illegal activities, including providing and using confidential geographical information and making, publishing and spreading geographical information without government authorization, also appeared, which not only interrupted the order of the Chinese geographical information market, but also threatened the national security of China.
Therefore, China's State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping has decided to start a campaign to regulate China's geographical information market. According to the bureau, the major tasks for the campaign include to regulate the obtaining, providing and use of confidential geographical information; to crack down on illegal making, publishing and spreading of geographical information; to prevent and suppress military-related illegal surveying and mapping activities; to enhance the supervision on surveying and mapping activities by foreign organizations; to regulate online use of map; and to promote the popularization of relevant laws and rules.
According local media reports, China investigated and handled 791 illegal surveying and mapping activities in 2008.