Google must respect the francophone character of Montréal

As many websites report today, Google has finally installed its version of Google Street View available in Québec. Good news for fans of the service, but it is a service with a heavy price tag: as we see in the photo below, Google seems to have become bored with the mere role of photographer, and has given itself the hats of lawmaker and topographer as well:

Google Park

Here is Avenue du Parc in Montréal, which Google has decided to rename « Park Avenue », which is not its official name. The excuse that francophone toponyms should be rendered in English within an English document or computer don’t really fly: we can see elsewhere in the city (to say nothing of Paris) that the « rues » are really rues — that is, the generic is in French as well as the specific. Elsewhere, one sees that Points of Interest in Montréal, the invading brown concentric squares, are often written in English only, a worrying trend.

Though Google seems thus far more respectful than Microsoft with its Bing, because the Québec streetscape is mostly accurately represented in French on Google Maps, these problems remain to be corrected in order to respect the linguistic situation in Québec. So I encourage you all to report the problem using the link at the bottom of the page on Google Maps — the least we can do for cultural diversity.

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