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bwelford

Google Street View Moves Faster Than Google Maps

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Fascinating little story I bumped into this morning. The Golden Ears Bridge in British Columbia has been open for traffic for some 6 months now. However you will not find it on Google Maps. The Google Maps Forum back in July suggested they were waiting on their basic map suppliers, TeleAtlas and Navteq, to update their maps. They still do not appear to have done so so Google Maps cannot help you find your way efficiently around the Fraser Valley of British Columbia.

 

The curious thing is that if you do a search for the Golden Ears Bridge, you can stumble on a street view of the bridge.

 

This seems a major blot on Google's claims to catalogue the world of information. Perhaps since they have not monetised Google Maps, it does not get the attention it deserves.

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Interesting post, Barry!

 

Google's plan is to become a mapping entity in their own right...no more TeleAtlas. One of the outcomes of this may be more rapid adjustments to incorrect Maps' data. I agree with you that 6 months is a long time to wait for an update in a major and busy city. Whew!

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By the way, Barry, I was wondering if you had considered reporting this to Google via their new reporting features? Mike Blumenthal just did his first test of this. Google claimed they would fix most reported issues within 30 days. In effect, it took them 45 to fix an error Mike reported, but at least this is a huge improvement over how it was with TeleAtlas. Just curious.

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Miriam, it's even worse than I described since the route they give you uses a ferry that closed in July. :)

 

I'll try your suggestion on reporting this and see what happens.

 

<later edit> I have now mentioned this in the Google Maps Forum at

http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/maps...9ba87&hl=en

Edited by bwelford

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Hi Barry,

Please do update this thread if you see it get fixed. That way, we can see how long it took. My guess is that Google has to be getting multiple reports about something as central as this and the more they hear from folks, the better chance there is of the situation being upgraded to urgent.

Miriam

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I certainly will, Miriam.

 

For those who are interested, here is the link for the Google Maps Forum discussion.

 

My latest response in the thread there may be worth showing here.

 

In some ways it's a more fundamental problem. Google is highly product-directed rather than being customer-centric. They really need to adopt a customer-centric attitude and make sure they are delivering what customers need. It's fine for them to hide behind their computers and insist that only computer-based processes must handle everything and they will not intervene. I can for example accept that the satellite image of this area is out-of-date and does not show all the residential development that has occurred in the area.

 

However there are probably 0.0000001% of issues where human intervention is required and human judgement must be exercised. The recent major embarassment for Google with the adulterated image of Michelle Obama in the Google Image search was one such. I would suggest that this inability to use Google Maps for many journeys for residents in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia is another when it persists for 6 months.

 

Such a major problem in customer service should really get on to the radar screen of the Google CEO. I'm sure the Michelle Obama image problem did.

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I use Google Earth and Google Maps every day and notice that they have multiple layers of data. Map data, street data and the satellite images. The satellite images can come from multiple sources depending upon the scale that you are viewing (as you zoom in you might see dramatic changes in the images that are caused by data acquired during different times of the year). There can also be multiple data versions at any given scale... it is not uncommon for me to see a mix of image tiles with snow-covered ground on part of the screen and leaves-on images on the rest of the screen.

 

Since this data must be acquired when there is near zero cloud-cover, we should expect lots of holes in the coverage that are filled with images of different dates.

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Just to bring you up to date, Tele Atlas has now updated its database. MapQuest now shows the Golden Ears Bridge: Google Maps still has not picked this up.

 

I have let them know via the Google Maps Forum.

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Barry,

Thank you for updating this thread. It's good that Teleatlas found the bridge, but it is certainly taking Google longer that the 30 days they quote it will take to fix a reported problem. Very inconvenient for travelers, for sure. Mike is currently tracking how long it takes for Google to fix an entire town that is missing from the map. Trouble, trouble everywhere...

Edited by SEOigloo

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I'll be interested to see how quickly Google does what MapQuest was on to immediately.

 

In some ways, it's a confirmation that Google is certainly not an Outside-In kind of company. That's a term that Harvard Business School professor Ranjay Gulati has coined to describe a customer-centric kind of company. He suggests that success comes to those companies who make sure that the customer looking in from the outside is happy with what they perceive.

 

Given that supposedly the new mantra in Google is Mobile First, you would think they would certainly try to make sure that all these smart phones in Metro Vancouver could get the right data to move around.

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Now Day 7 since MapQuest picked up the TeleAtlas database update and showed the Golden Ears Bridge. Google Maps still has not picked up the change. I've made a similar comment in the Google Maps Forum.

 

Real time search! .. tell me about it.

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I noted this morning that finally the Golden Ears Bridge here in BC is appearing in Google Maps, 28 days after Mapquest spotted that the bridge was now in the Tele Atlas mapping database. It's also after 9 months of operation and two years of construction prior to that.

 

Well done, Google.

 

:applause:

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Thanks for the link, Barry. It is indeed good news although it would have been good to have earlier. I think most of us assumed that commenting on the Google Maps Help Forum would get the message into the system but apparently not. I guess it's not a scaleable problem for Google to find out when people are expressing concerns about Google.

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