Israel No Longer Appears On Flickr Maps [UPDATE: Been Re-Added!]

Israel No Longer Appears On Flickr Maps [UPDATE: Been Re-Added!]

With a new CEO, Yahoo! hopes to bring Flickr back to life and make it the number one destination for photographers. With the renewed efforts, as MegaPixel revealed today, Flickr may have made one bad move, as they have erased Israel from their maps. The name of the country is still there, and also the names of 3 cities, but anything other than that has been removed: cities, villages, streets and roads. So far no comment from Flickr on this issue.

This change to their map services means no one can use Flickr's Geotagging services on photos taken in Israel - whether they are citizens of the country, or tourists who visit Israel.

When looking at any other country on Flickr Maps, everything looks OK- everything appears. The only place on the globe that is missing is Israel, and to me thats weird. Why? Flickr is popular in Israel and even their Prime Minister is using it regularly. No one is sure if this was a conscious decision made by Flickr, or if its a bug in the system. Any attempt to get a response from the company has yet to be answered.

When using Google Maps, all towns and street names appear when looking for Israel:
Google Maps - Israel

The same exact view on Flickr Maps show the empty country:
Flickr - Israel maps

Flickr are using an open map service called Leaflet. Leaflet uses a map database from - which actually does have a detailed map of every city in Israel. So it means one of 2 options: 1. Someone decided to erase anything related to israel on Flickr, or 2. something in the API is causing some issues and wont pass any info about Israel. The final result is the same: Israel is not on Flickr Maps.

I'm not sure what is the reason Flickr are not using OpenStreetMaps for Israel, the same way they use it for places like Tokyo, Beijing and other places Nokia Maps cant provide accurate maps for.

It's an interesting situation in the least, and possibly incredibly offensive at the most. Why do you think Israel has been excluded? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

UPDATE 1: As requested by our readers, we changed the title of this article.

UPDATE 2: The Huffington Post picked up the story and added details about the issue.

UPDATE 3: A representative from Yahoo! emailed the following note after reading the post on The Huffington Post: "The geographical data that appears on Flickr and Yahoo! Maps comes from a third party map provider and we are working with them to understand and improve the gap in geographic coverage that has been reported. Yahoo! always wants to ensure the best possible product experience for our users, and this falls short of those expectations. We are continually working to source and roll out coverage where there is room to provide greater mapping details. In particular, we hope and expect that you will see improved maps coverage of Israel shortly."

UPDATE 4: One day after writing this post, Flickr fixed the issue and added Israel back to their maps as seen below. Success. Thanks Flickr for addressing the issue.

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Noam Galai's picture

I have dual citizenship, so no need to  do any of this :)

Rebecca Britt's picture

Um... doesn't the United States support Israel? If so, why is this even an issue?

It's his home country, surely he would have some feelings of pride for it. Just because he immigrated doesn't mean he should just abandon or kick aside any positive feelings for the country and culture of his origins. 

Let's just hope Flickr can resolve this issue soon and that the people of Israel can go back to enjoying and using their map service. Wait... this post is suppose to be about Flickr, right? Okay... just checking. Let's try and stay on topic.

Corey Melton's picture

you dont run this blog, for apparent reasons

Know strategy on this site.

But i'd be more afraid of flickr reding this and seing it as damageable for their brand...

you know how lawyers are.


I'm sure there is a non-antisemite reason for this...

Don't get your payot in a bunch.

Noam Galai's picture

Yeah im pretty sure its going to be fixed. Im a big fan of Flickr, and this post was made just because no one from Flickr was able to answer people's questions about this matter, and did nothing to fix this issue. Not saying Flickr did it as an antisemite thing, but for sure we have commenters here that are....

haha, now you're accusing READERS of antisemitism? Yeah, it MUST because you're Jewish, Noam, not because you're a pot-stirring, link-baiting idiot.

Keep it up Mr. JPG - You just proves that Noam was right.
There is also a way of saying things, curse like a troll is not one of them.

Sorry, are you calling me antisemitic? My Jewish girlfriend, my Jewish daughter, and her Jewish grandparents need to be informed of this!

Oh God, just please shuuut uuup already. It's ok. Go vent somewhere else.

I'll be staying. 

Corey Melton's picture

something like that HAHA


Because some called your post that has Israel as a subject for what it is (garbage and a lame attempt to get clics on the site) they are antsemite.

If the bug had affected another country (let's pretend it's south africa) would they have been called racists readers?

Do yourself a favor, and keep politics out of photography.

Noam Galai's picture

I said what i said just because of his first comment here. I understand people are going to say stuff related to the story - but he didnt, he just said anti israel and political stuff. Sorry for the misunderstanding. Now I hope we can talk about the issue, and not about unrelated stuff. 

there is no issue god damn it.

Stop trying to make a storm out of a fart.

Noam Galai's picture

OK, there is no issue. but there is a problem. better now? :)

Hail Sagan's picture

I blame the Mossad.

It really does not matter if it's Israel, Iran, u.s.a or Luxembourg - as a flickr user i want, and need to see all the countries on the map.
Noam - I'm with you!!!.
keep update.

160th Infantry's picture

Oh wow conspiracy..!! And my iphone doesn't even know there is a Starbucks next door. Who cares...non-story.

Maybe it`S because of war preparations. Same with GPS which can be turned of if necessary.

If Flickr does not immediately return Israel to the map I will cancel my account and demand a full refund.  I do not do business with companies that cater to terrorists, and that's what this is, giving the Hamas terrorists what they want.

Noam Galai's picture

I dont think they care about wars and politics... I agree its super annoying the country is missing, and Im also a paying costumer. But... I really dont think its something they chose to do, and I dont think they decided to remove israel because its israel. It just happened that way, and I just hope this story will make them work faster on bringing Israel back! 

Avrohom Perl's picture

Nice to see a popular site use its power to (hopefully) help fellow photogs out. 

This has nada to do with politics. The only political part(s) of this story is:
1. The way the (rightfully sensitive & rightfully offended) author wrote the article.
2. The chance that some lone, stupid, and soon jobless person or persons within flicker removed details from the map of Israel because of the ongoing political situation there.

Its a problem that needs fixing and I think its awesome that Fstoppers is willing to get involved.

I would also say change the graphic this is not flickr versus Israel, its an issue with their mapping provider 

haha, who deleted my first post? That had 18 likes! 

Pretty funny that Noam doesn't like Flickr apparently "removing" Israel from its maps, but has no problems removing things HE doesn't agree with from his blog posts about it.

A new low. 

Corey Melton's picture

fantastic assumption as always, but writers cannot delete comments, only admins can. Rest assured that if any of the writers could delete you, we would.

The assumption isn't that "fantastic" if you then admit that it's exactly what you would do. 

Corey Melton's picture

 i would delete you a million times over. you are a poison

I should really ignore this, but I'll bite:

How exactly am I "poison"?

I don't think I make a single unreasonable post on this site. I'm vocal about what I like and dislike, and since you all post filler 24/7, I'm seemingly mostly vocal about what I dislike. 

Trust me, if you posted a bunch of awesome shit, I'd be the first to congratulate you on a decent update. I'm careful to do exactly that whenever something good is posted. 

The very fact that my posts get so many likes should point out that either I'm posting popular opinion, or the population are "poison" too.

No reply to this then?