If you've been keeping up with the conflict in South Ossetia, perhaps you were curious about where the contentious events were occurring. I hope you ended up at Microsoft's Live Search Maps, because it is the only map of the top 5 search engines that could find both Tskhinvali, South Ossetia's self-declared capital, as well as Abkhazia, another separatist region where Russia has opened a second front.
Live Search Maps - Ts'khinvali
Live Search Maps - Abkhazia
Yahoo was the second best map. It found Tskhinvali after I typed in Microsoft's suggested spelling of Ts'khinvali. But the map was extremely zoomed in and you didn't have a sense of where you were until you zoomed out. It found Abkhazia with ease.
Yahoo Maps - Tskhinvali (can't find)
Yahoo Maps - Ts'khinvali (Microsoft's suggested spelling)
Yahoo Maps - Ts'khinvali zoomed out
Yahoo Maps - Abkhazia
Google found Ts'khinvali (even without the apostrophe), but an initial search for Abkhazia landed me in Glendale, California, at a business listing for an institute dedicated to policy in the Georgian region. Eventually, after searching for Ts'khinvali, a subsequent search for Abkhazia at least landed me in the correct region. But the problem was there were several results sprinkled across the troubled Georgia. Google has said it has had a hard time finding satisfying data for the region. They might want to try whatever Microsoft is having.
Google Maps - Ts'khinvali
Google Maps - Abkhazia, Glendale California
Google Maps - Abkhazia, Georgia
Ask.com's Maps and AOL's MapQuest couldn't find either city.
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