The armed rebel movement in Libya owes its snowballing military and political successes to the passion and commitment of its members, the NATO air campaign that hobbled Muammar Khaddafy’s military power, the countries that legitimized the rebels by recognizing their transitional government, and, as of today, Google Maps.
After they took it over late Sunday night, rebels declared that Green Square would now be called Martyr’s Square, restoring the name it had before Gadhafi’s regime took power more than four decades ago. Google’s map of Tripoli has already adopted the rebels’ new name for the square.
Sometimes the world map being redrawn before your very eyes is a metaphor for something intangible– political alliances, shifting attitudes, societal norms, etc. But this time it’s the actual map map that’s changing. Fast.