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Student broke the law by putting his name on the map

(China Daily) Updated: 2017-07-14 09:23

GE YULU, a student in Beijing, found a road without an official nameplate in the metropolis in 2013. He then made one bearing the name "Geyu Road", which looked exactly like an official one, and put it up. One year later, several domestic navigation companies had adopted the name in their maps. Beijing News comments:

Ge's efforts to name a road after himself have been in vain. But it should be noted that road names are actually key information that shape our lives, because they are related to residents' addresses, travel routes, even their residency registrations.

The urban planning authorities of Beijing have already said that according to the law what Ge did was illegal, since the law clearly states that only official agencies have the power to name streets and roads. Besides, by putting up his own street sign, Ge has disturbed the normal traffic order and he now faces legal penalties.

However, the case reveals some deficiencies with the urban planning department. Ge said that the road was unnamed when he found it. It did have an official name, but the local authorities did not put any nameplate up.

More important, the navigation companies adopted "Geyu Road" instead of the official name in their databases. That means they simply referred to a road's nameplate when drafting their maps, without ever double-checking them with the urban planning authorities. They will now have to revise their maps.

Ge's case shows that both the urban planning departments and the navigation companies need to improve their efficiency.

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