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Helsinki transport map renames Russian embassy as 'Volodymyr Zelenskyy Park'

OpenStreetMap is the source for HSL's map data, and anyone can edit it. 

The HSL map showed 'Volodymyr Zelenskyy Park' on the site of the Russian embassy compound. Image: Kuvakaappaus HSL:n reittioppaan sivulta

The map in the route planner used by Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) has acquired a 'Volodymyr Zelenskyy Park' at the address where the Russian Embassy is normally located.

Users looking to find their tram stop could on Thursday see the buildings associated with the Russian Embassy at 1 Tehtaankatu re-named as a tribute to Ukraine's president, Volodomyr Zelenskyy.

On 25 February, thousands of people protested against the war outside the Russian Embassy and at Senate Square.

HSL to remove "inappropriate edit"

HSL uses the publicly-updated Open Street Maps, which is an open collaboration to create different types of maps, in the same way that Wikipedia allows anyone to edit.

"Open Street Map is widely used and all kinds of editors are part of it," said Markku Huotari, HSL's location data expert.

The edit to the map was made on 2 March. HSL said it would retrieve the older version of the map and remove the Zelenskyy-inspired edit.

"We have used Open Street Maps for five years, and this is the first time that this kind of inappropriate edit has made its way to our product," said Huotari.

HSL remains committed to using Open Street maps.

"You can be pretty safe in using it, rapid feedback is possible," said Huotari.

Open Street Maps is also used by Facebook and Microsoft, among others.