Google Maps misplaces popular city

Google Maps, a widely accepted and relied on tool for obtaining directions to unknown locations, or even to browse towns for fun, somehow wiped the popular city of Sunrise, Florida right off of their map.

Point A shows the location of Sunrise, Florida, Point B is where users were directed to. Image Source: cnn.com

Instead of seekers for the destination being shown directions to Sunrise, Florida, they were redirected to Sarasota, Florida. The major problem with this is that it takes users across the state, to the opposite coast and 200 miles away from their intended destination.

Not only was the city lost, but also references to public entities and city hall; virtually all information about the city host to 90,000 people, a major National Hockey League team, and one of the largest malls in the United States, according to CNN.

The city's mayor, curious as to why the city was not performing as well economically as in the past, then finding out that the city wasn't even listed - sent a map of the city to Google in hope of solving the problem. This was not the only town lost recently, others include "La Jolla, California; Rogers, Minnesota; Wickliffe, Ohio; Woodstock, Virginia, and Imperial Beach, California" reported Search Engine Land, a site that keeps up to date with what Google is up to.

One claim is that the reason for these discrepancies is due to Google switching their source for who provides them map data for their Google Maps service. During this switch it is thought that either through a glitch in the system, or poor indexing, that certain cities were simply wiped off the map.

Since the public outcry from Sunrise, Florida, Google has restored the town to their map application, as well as the aforementioned cities. Many were lost for at least a month during the summer, however maybe with these examples Google will take more care of their service from now on.

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32 Comments

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I've had similar: was looking for the Premier Inn in Ripley (not signposted and no decent map on the website). Google Maps said it was down an alley 50 yds long so I tried turn-by-turn navigation on my phone. "Your destination is on your left" it said. If my destination had been Denby Pottery it would have been bang on the money...

This is why you don't rely so blindly on Google Maps or any other product. You get the map and you should still read the Interstate and other sources to find your way...

I have seen Google wrong a LOT!

Actually my 'city' in the Netherlands, called Brunssum, was at the wrong place on Google Maps as well. It was listed about 15km more north than it actually is.

Examinus said,
Google misspell my road.

The street i grew up on was spelled 'Abbotts' at the top and 'Abbots' at the bottom. A council that can't even spell it's own road names properly!
I went passed it the other day and despite having several new signs over the last 30 years, it's still wrong!

eh so what, my in-car navigation system is missing a few relatively large towns also... heck in my town it doesnt even know the main road exists..... so bad map data is nothing new... that's why they have yearly map updates

neufuse said,
eh so what, my in-car navigation system is missing a few relatively large towns also... heck in my town it doesnt even know the main road exists..... so bad map data is nothing new... that's why they have yearly map updates

How old is your in-car nav system? The problem with those is (and always has been) that the maps are over a year old when you buy the car brand new, and only get worse with time. Google Maps is updated incredibly frequently so these issues are nearly non-existent. Not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison.

vaximily said,

How old is your in-car nav system? The problem with those is (and always has been) that the maps are over a year old when you buy the car brand new, and only get worse with time. Google Maps is updated incredibly frequently so these issues are nearly non-existent. Not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison.

Didn't I say in my post that they have yearly map updates? My latest maps are from 2010 in my Pioneer AVIC-Z3 nav system and there is still stuff missing that should definatly be there...

neufuse said,
Didn't I say in my post that they have yearly map updates? My latest maps are from 2010 in my Pioneer AVIC-Z3 nav system and there is still stuff missing that should definatly be there...

You missed my point entirely...

Your yearly updates must be packaged pretty, tested extensively for each car, etc, etc, so you're "2010 maps" are more likely built on 2008 / 2009 data... conversely, Google Maps is updated virtually in real-time.

CNN bothered with this?!

On a side note, Google maps also puts my town as a suburb of a neighbouring town which is annoying. Not the end of the world just a slight rearranging of it.

PotatoJ said,
I seriously doubt the city of Sarasota's "performance" was impacted in any significant way due to this error.

RTFA... Sarasota is massive, everybody knows how to get there and it's large enough that it would have been noticed in a matter of hours not a month.

Sunrise is a much smaller city and considering the fact that a huge majority of travelers / vacationers use online mapping (specifically, Google Maps), it's not surprising that it would impact their bottom line, especially with all the advertising dollars the larger cities have been spending to get people their in lieu of the Gulf Oil Spill.

SHoTTa35 said,
"Turn left" - into the atlantic ocean? WTF?

People shouldn't trust GPSs so blindly!

Try getting directions for tokyo > new york then read no.21.

SHoTTa35 said,
"Turn left" - into the atlantic ocean? WTF?

People shouldn't trust GPSs so blindly!

No they shouldn't trust maps or computer generated directions so blindly. GPS itself is just fine the way it is and can be trusted to pinpoint your exact location. In fact that's all it does. It's up to the software that generates directions to determine where you should go.

Twisp said,

Try getting directions for tokyo > new york then read no.21.

mine is no. 29

LOL "Kayak across the Pacific Ocean" . LOL!!!

barteh said,
Is this really "news"?

Open yours eyes. This is just the beginning.
Next time google wants a city to be "missing", it won't just be on the Internet.
Mark my words...

acnpt said,

Open yours eyes. This is just the beginning.
Next time google wants a city to be "missing", it won't just be on the Internet.
Mark my words...

I hope so, there is a few cities I don't like D:

acnpt said,

Open yours eyes. This is just the beginning.
Next time google wants a city to be "missing", it won't just be on the Internet.
Mark my words...

Hahahaha! Best laugh of the week!
+>9000