Lost In Mapping Software

It was recently reported that Google cedes Chilean village to Argentina where a mis-drawn country border is the culprit. One of many such mishaps in my experience.

Closer to home, my wife was trying to get directions to a roller rink were one of my daughter’s friends was having a birthday party. When the in-vehicle navigation system failed to find the destination, she called me on her mobile. I plugged the info into Google Maps, only for Google to display three different destinations all with the exact same address. None of which, by the way, was the actual venue. Curiously, if you searched on the actual address that it returned, a more forthright response of “We were not able to locate the address” was given.

Granted, there has been some growth in that area and Google might not have caught up with the change. It would also be nice if they had a link on the page that would let you indicate that the directions are bogus and even offer a correction. While I could see that such a feature could be abused (a competitor could modify an address to point to it rather than the actual business) it would certainly go a long way toward fixing misdirected directions.

Newness doesn’t explain all of the anomalies. The in-vehicle navigation system claims that there is no such place as the Cincinnati Zoo (established in 1875 and the second oldest zoo in the country) but thoughtfully directs us to ‘the nearest zoo’ in circileville, west virginia. Google gets the location of the Cincy Zoo horribly wrong as well — ‘A’ is actually the entry gate to the zoo (though curiously listed as “Cincinnati Zoo Academy High School”) and “C” is clearly no where near the actual zoo location. Room for improvement, indeed.

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