Google has separated South Sudan as its own entity after a large push from over 1,600 Change.org members. South Sudan became a sovereign nation July 9, 2011 following a vote by an overwhelming 99% of the population. This was an important decision and day after 50 years of civil war and vicious conflict. The death toll mounts 2 million and even more hundreds of thousands have become refugees.

The Google movement was launched by John Tanza Mabusu, a journalist from South Sudan, currently residing in Washington, D.C. Six weeks after indepdenence Mabusu launched a petition on Change.org requesting that all online mapping services update their data.

“The inclusion of South Sudan will give the people of that new nation pride and a sense of belonging, as citizens of a sovereign nation on the map. I’m hoping now that Google has officially recognized South Sudan on their maps, the other major online mapping services will quickly follow suit. The people of South Sudan fought long and hard for their independence and suffered greatly. It’s time these maps reflect their efforts and catch up.”

-Mabusu

As this change was put into play this week, South Sudan is still missing from National Geographic, Microsoft and Yahoo maps, but as any technology or social media enthusiast knows, Google is a large step. As an international agency, Abraham Harrison is impressed with the integrity and efforts of Mabusu and hopes that other mapping services follow Google’s lead very soon.