Google Maps Changes Czech Republic to Czechia

The shorthand name for the Czech Republic is becoming more widely accepted

Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas

Written by Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas Published on 23.01.2017 12:32:00 (updated on 23.01.2017) Reading time: 1 minute

The Czech government convened last year to put forth the “catchier” Czechia as the official English shorthand for the country formerly known to the English-speaking world as the Czech Republic; the initiative passed last April to widespread criticism.

Politician Karel Schwarzenberg went on record saying that he preferred the use of “Bohemia” in this context, while provocateur artist David Černý said that Czechia “is neither sexy nor rock & roll.”

Over in the pro-Czechia camp, a website from the Czechia Initiative called Go Czechia put together 16 myths about usage of the shorthand name.

No matter what your stance on the name-change issue, it’s undeniable that Czechia is slowly being accepted.

‘Czechia’ was entered alongside ‘Czech Republic’ in the official UN Database of Geographical Names in July.

And now—the proverbial nail in the coffin (or pin in the map) for geography buffs at least—it has appeared on Google Maps.

News server reached out to Google in the Czech Republic for details behind the change on its English-language version of the European map which likely occurred sometime last month (the publication was acting on a reader tip).

As the world’s most used search tool for geographic facts, competing only with Wikipedia or OpenStreetMap, the change could signify a wider acceptance of the name, despite the anti-Czechia pushback.

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