According to at least one anonymous Pakistani security official, Google Maps may be used in efforts to settle a border dispute between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Last week's clashes occurred at the Southern border of Pakistan, where a military-escorted group from the country was conducting a census survey. The southern border is not recognized by Afghanistan and most inhabitants along the disputed stretch of land seem not to be overburdened by the dispute itself, but the clash left 8 citizens dead. Afghan officials also claim to have lost two soldiers over the course of the week, although Pakistani officials claim the number was around 50. It is important to note that while both sides have agreed to a survey in hopes of settling the dispute, both sides haven't technically come forward with agreement about the use of Google's mapping data for that purpose. As such, it may be a good idea to have at least some small measure of skepticism as to whether or not the Pakistani official is correct.
The confusion over the disputed territory may come down, at least in part, to the fact that Google must adhere to local laws with regards to how it shows map data in some countries. Its data is generally very accurate and helpful but the search giant's maps show the border as disputed when viewed in Pakistan, while the border is shown at its internationally recognized location when viewed from elsewhere. In the meantime, Afghanistan contests the border and many Afghans believe that the border actually ends at the Indus river. Similar disputes between other countries are also mapped differently depending on which country the Google Maps request originates from.
Google, for its part, hasn't made any kind of public statement about either the claim or the dispute itself as of this writing. Since it isn't clear whether the company's tools will – or can – in actuality be used to help resolve the matter, it actually makes sense that they wouldn't have much to say about it. Truthfully, it isn't immediately clear whether or not the company would even be required to have any real part in it, even if the data stored by the company ends up being used.