The provincial government of the semi-autonomous Åland Islands says that the controversy over the inclusion of Finnish-language place names in maps of the province was based on a misunderstanding.
The Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) reported earlier that Åland wanted Finnish-language place names removed from maps of the province.
“We do not want to remove Finnish names, but we do want the Swedish names to be visible on the maps”, says Björn Häggblom, a spokesman for the Åland provincial government.
Häggblom says that in international map services, such as Google Maps, place names in Åland are only in Finnish, even though Swedish is the area’s main language.
“We learned that the map services get their information from the National Land Survey of Finland. We contacted them and talked about including the Swedish-language names in the maps.”
Häggblom says that he noticed that the matter had prompted strong reactions on online message boards in mainland Finland.
He reiterated that the whole furore was based on a misunderstanding.