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Google Crowdsources Map Editing

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the don't-do-your-home-address-first dept.

Google 149

An anonymous reader notes that Google now makes it possible to edit the map location designated by (almost) any address. Registered Google users in the US, Australia, and New Zealand can move incorrect markers for their homes or businesses to the correct locations. Access to some listings is restricted — hospitals, government buildings, and businesses whose listings have been claimed through Google's Local Business Center. In addition, moving a place marker more than 200 yards (or 200 meters) from its original location requires a moderator's approval before the change shows up on the map. Once a marker has been moved, a "Show Original" link will direct users to the original location.

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with great power comes great responsibility (1, Interesting)

User 956 (568564) | more than 6 years ago | (#21430557)

Registered Google users in the US, Australia, and New Zealand can move incorrect markers for their homes or businesses to the correct locations.

That's great, but what about moving correct markers to an incorrect location? Or the location of a competitor to the address of the local hog farm?

For those who can't read past the very first line. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21430713)

"In addition, moving a place marker more than 200 yards (or 200 meters) from its original location requires a moderator's approval before the change shows up on the map. Once a marker has been moved, a "Show Original" link will direct users to the original location."

Google covered their bases. All their bases.

Re: all your bases (2, Funny)

ThinkOfaNumber (836424) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431153)

Google covered their bases. All their bases.
All your bases are belong to Google...

Re:For those who can't read past the very first li (2, Interesting)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431237)

Could you incrementally move a marker outside the 200m zone?

Re:For those who can't read past the very first li (1)

hdparm (575302) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431541)

Nope. Says there - from the original location. There goes my cunning plan [slashdot.org] . And I can't be bothered with moderators, either.

Re:For those who can't read past the very first li (1)

omeomi (675045) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431753)

I moved my home's marker just fine, but when I went to move my parents', I got this error: "Because of technical restrictions, you cannot edit this location at this time."

I wonder, does it check to make sure my IP address is near the location I'm moving, or is it just a glitch?

Re:For those who can't read past the very first li (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21432715)

I moved my home's marker just fine, but when I went to move my parents', I got this error: "Because of technical restrictions, you cannot edit this location at this time."
 
Your parent's house is the exit from a large subterranean Umbrella Corp. base.

Google can't allow you to move those or their GoogleArmy may get lost when sent to erradicate the zombie invasion.

Re:For those who can't read past the very first li (1)

Algorithmnast (1105517) | more than 6 years ago | (#21433313)

I moved my home's marker just fine, but when I went to move my parents', I got this error: "Because of technical restrictions, you cannot edit this location at this time."

I wonder, does it check to make sure my IP address is near the location I'm moving, or is it just a glitch?

More likely they used cookies to mark you as having moved your address marker. They may have then noted that "you" were trying to edit a second home address.

Consider that there is no mapping from IP to physical address that works for all IP addresses.

Re:with great power comes great responsibility (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21430741)

Do you honestly think that your competitor would have a location within 200m of a hog farm? Or is your competitor a chicken farm, cattle farm or just a field? Or did you just not read the article description?

Re:with great power comes great responsibility (2, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 6 years ago | (#21430869)

No, but maybe a bad unscrupulous competitor can have a hog farm built within 200 yards of their location :-)

If it's on the same street, the moderators may have a tough time verifying the placement anyways; short of going there, finding another map, or sending a fax to the business to verify their location on a written map.

It's not like a Google rep can call residences/businesses on the phone and easily ask them to verify that X is their right physical location. (No way to communicate a map in a phone call -- requires a printed graphic, or something online)

Re:with great power comes great responsibility (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21430973)

It's not like a Google rep can call residences/businesses on the phone and easily ask them to verify that X is their right physical location. (No way to communicate a map in a phone call -- requires a printed graphic, or something online)
You're right. They should do something like create an index of businesses and their contact information by crawling business' websites!

Re:with great power comes great responsibility (1)

MasterOfDisaster (248401) | more than 6 years ago | (#21432783)

What's so hard about doing this over the phone? A home or business owner presumably knows where they're physically located in relation to the nearest cross streets (a presumably undisputed location that would be shown in the google photos. The call would go something like this:

Google: Hi, is the the Hog's Head bar and grill?
Business: Yes.
Google: Great. Are you in the building two houses south from the corner of 5th and Main Street, or the pig barn 200m down the road?
Business:Yep. Two doors south of 5th and main.
Google: *clicks 'reject map marker chanage'*

Re:with great power comes great responsibility (1)

JerLasVegas (791093) | more than 6 years ago | (#21430839)

Now why on earth would someone do that? People will only use this for good! People are good!

Re:with great power comes great responsibility (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21431037)

          TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
          T                        T
          X  I Like Ponies!!!111!  X
          X                ,       X
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   ______ X  {{\    |  \  /_       X
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/        \                         X
/ _    \   \ LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
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            \----- i_IIO
             \       LL

Please control the human population, have sex with ponies!

Re:with great power comes great responsibility (0, Redundant)

bombs14 (147443) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431073)

so can you move a marker 200 yards, save, move it another 200 yards, save, repeat?

Re:with great power comes great responsibility (1)

Columcille (88542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431955)

no

Crap. (1)

KEnderK (1171753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21430559)

Now all those illegal immigrants will be able to get in easier.

Re:Crap. (4, Interesting)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21430583)

Move the border 200 yards south?

SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21430573)

_0_
\''\
'=o='
.|!|
.| |
goatse crowdsources looking at goatse [goatse.ch]

Re:SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21430807)

He's right. Slashdot does suck. I never noticed it before, but it's true now that I think about it.

I just fixed the one for my new house (5, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21430581)

I just fixed the one for my new house [google.com] .

-- Hillary

how to get rid of sidebar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21431715)

anyone know how to get rid of the sidebar on google maps? I find it highly annoying (esp. because I use a 1024x780 screen & real estate is v. limited)

Re:how to get rid of sidebar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21432945)

You can just collapse it by clicking its right edge (i.e. where the sidebar meets the map)

Re:I just fixed the one for my new house (1)

psychicsword (1036852) | more than 6 years ago | (#21432187)

I was told that was my house. Oh well at least I have lots of accountants at my cool bank. [google.com] And some employees here [google.com]

--Exxon Mobil Corporation

That reminds me (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21430589)


How long does it take a black woman to take a shit? About nine months.
How do you stop five black men from raping a white woman? Throw them a basketball.
How do you stop black kids from jumping on the bed? Put Velcro on the ceiling.
Why did the little black kids stop playing in sandboxes? Because the cats keep trying to bury them.
Why do black people smell? So the blind can hate them too!
If a black man and a white man both run into a tunnel at the same time, which one comes out first? The white man, because the black man had to stop and spraypaint "muthafucka" on the wall.
What do you call a black guy on a bike? A fucking thief.

When the only tool you have is a hammer... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21430783)

...every problem looks like a nigger.

Re:That reminds me (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21430795)

what do you call a black man in a blener: cherry ripe

Re:That reminds me (1)

tuttle_mr (1121299) | more than 6 years ago | (#21430927)

That's unakseptible spelling, Dowie.

Re:That reminds me (1)

Drive42 (444835) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431193)

I wonder how many presidents have actually made use of that tennis court.

Re:That reminds me (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21430961)

why do black guys have red eyes after sex? Mace!

What did the black kid get for Kwanzaa? My iPod.

Why do black guys like fat white girls? Seriously, why?!?!?

Re:That reminds me (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21432027)

Why do black guys like fat white girls? Seriously, why?!?!?

two answers. 1 - because theyre niggers. 2 - because fat white girls will have sex, even with them!

This is great news (1)

Blackheim (661904) | more than 6 years ago | (#21430603)

Now I can be in Melbourne(Aust) and Melbourne(UK) at the same time

Re:This is great news (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21430643)

You can only move markers 200 yards from the original location. IT'S A SMALL WORLD A-AFTER ALL...

Re:This is great news (1)

Blackheim (661904) | more than 6 years ago | (#21430731)

Metric or Imperial?

Re:This is great news (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#21430793)

A metric yard? Sounds afflicted [afflictedyard.com] ...

Support openstreetmap instead... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21430613)

http://openstreetmap.org/ [openstreetmap.org] is actually open, user generated, user-editable, map content (semi-automated from GPS trails). Why help google when you can help real open source?

Re:Support openstreetmap instead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21430733)

Why not help both?

Personally, I'm just happy I can finally fix my Mom's address. Anyone searching Google maps before would have gone to the wrong house (3 houses down on the wrong side of the street, in fact).

Re:Support openstreetmap instead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21432999)

Thanks, appreciate it!

Re:Support openstreetmap instead... (3, Informative)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21430871)

Why help any of them? The US data is FREE anyway... 99% of the people who pay for the data just dont realize that.

Re:Support openstreetmap instead... (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431373)

Sorry for being US centric in that last post... I can definitely see helping them in non-US areas.

As for US areas, I am baffled that they have no data for anywhere in my area (30 minutes from NYC in a major suburb) - well, to be truthful, they have an outline of the geography (land and water boundary line) - but thats it... especially since it is free, and doesnt take too long (for them) to import all 70GB of it into a database... for us to feed the data through their web server would take months...

So, for the US, my answer stays mostly the same... they need a base data set first before they can ask for help fixing it... and no one has taken the effort to download and import the quite very free data set for the US. So, to truly help them, would mean someone should grab all the (free) US data and upload it for them... how long does it take to send 70GB through a bunch of web scripts? I wonder... ok, nevermind... they should handle that part themselves I guess... ;-)

Re:Support openstreetmap instead... (1)

steevc (54110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21432575)

OSM are importing the TIGER data. It may just take a few months

OSM wiki [openstreetmap.org]

Here in the UK our taxes pay for the Ordnance Survey mapping, but we have to pay for the results. I don't know the exact licencing rules, but it could be that a charity would have to pay to include a detailed map to show where they were holding an event. They could use the OSM map for free. Many cities are very well mapped, but there is still a lot of work to do. I've been doing my village when I have time. I've already covered some features that are not on Google.

Re:Support openstreetmap instead... (1)

Seanasy (21730) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431491)

Are you referring to TIGER/LINE data? Yes, that's free but companies such as Navteq and TeleAtlas have better quality/more up-to-date data. 99% of people who pay for it care about accuracy.

Re:Support openstreetmap instead... (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431657)

Really? More up to date? Sorry, but it isn't more up to date... the government doesn't give them a special release of it.

More accurate? In some instances - due to the already mentioned online correction tools that their customers can use to update incorrect info...

And from testing against that data I can tell you, those "corrections" (assuming they are accurate) make up a very small percent of the data. As of this day, my road, (and houses on it) built in 1940, in a county with 3 million people, still is not accurate, and still matches the Tiger/LINE data 100% in those innaccuracies. So do numerous addresses in NYC that I have tested.

But they DO add neat other features like the locations of many motels/hotels, restaurants, etc... no sarcasm intended... I'm working on filling in that data in our database as well...

OTOH, I can provide a more accurate vector map, including into coastal waters (with depths)... I'm sure they could, but they choose not to... as for the imagery stuff... well, that can be obtained free and/or very cheap from the government as well in qualities that equal or rival theirs...

So, the added accuracy, which is mostly supplied by their customers (and thus suspect in my mind - as in, "Who knows? Some kid borrowing the family car screwing with their data, or was the correction accurate?"), to me, especially with the very small percent of "adjustments", really doesnt mean much to me...

Re:Support openstreetmap instead... (1)

FrostedChaos (231468) | more than 6 years ago | (#21432453)

As usual, slashdot posters get it wrong.

If you think that Tiger data is just as good as what you can get from TeleAtlas and NavTeq-- then you obviously haven't seen these datasets. I have. No commercial GPS unit vendor, or map web service uses Tiger data because it sucks.

Tiger doesn't contain sign data. It doesn't describe one-way roads or turn restrictions. It doesn't include form-of-way information. It doesn't tell you how large roads are. It doesn't offer a fully conneted road network. And on, and on... The address inaccuracy is just icing on the cake. If you think the inaccuracy in Tiger is for national security, I have a bridge to sell you... or is that a tunnel? With Tiger, you'll never know.

The sign data issue alone is a killer because you cannot give good guidance without signs and highway exit numbers. Of course, because of the way Tiger butchers ramps, you can forget about highways anyway.

Map vendor data comes from a lot of different sourcse. Some of it is released into the public domain by local, state, or federal governments. Much of it is from employees hired just to drive around. Some comes from feedback from customers. Some of it comes from satellite or aerial photographs that have been processed with algorithms. And yes, map vendor data has more accurate address information.

NavTeq is being acquired for 8.1 billion dollars. Do you think the Finns would pay that kind of money for crummy US census data? TeleAtlas is also being acquired for megabucks-- in fact, it was the subject of a bidding war between TomTom and Garmin.

If Tiger is adequate to your hobby project, then fine. But don't expect to build the next mapquest or google maps.

Re:Support openstreetmap instead... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21433697)

Why help any of them? The US data is FREE anyway... 99% of the people who pay for the data just dont realize that.
??? Who's talking about purchasing online maps here?

Re:Support openstreetmap instead... (1)

Vampyre_Dark (630787) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431033)


Yeah cool. The wikipedia of mapping. For when you want to sent up the creek literally.

Re:Support openstreetmap instead... (2, Funny)

jo42 (227475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431559)

Yeah, great, "Toronto", ON, Canada is labeled "Steinbach" on openstreetmap.org - WTF?

Suggestion (4, Funny)

Paktu (1103861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21430629)

Can we pass legislation making the use of the word "crowdsourcing" a Class C Felony?

Re:Suggestion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21430785)

Don't forget "blogosphere".

Re:Suggestion (1)

franksands (938435) | more than 6 years ago | (#21433189)

I thought only Wired used these buzzwords. Because they're so hip and cool and all that.

Jehovah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21433235)

But you used the word "crowdsourcing"!! Stone him!!

I am at yo momma's house (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21430659)

booyeah

Other map crowdsourcing tools (4, Informative)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 6 years ago | (#21430695)

NAVTEQ's MapReporter [mapreporter.com] tool to submit updates to NAVTEQ's data by the casual user, Tele Atlas' Map Insight [slashgeo.org] and TomTom's MapShare [tomtom.com] . But I won't lie, the best map crowdsourcing project is doubtlessly OpenStreetMap.org [openstreetmap.org]

Re:Other map crowdsourcing tools (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#21433175)

Is 'Crowdsourcing' the best choice of word? Sounds a bit cheesy to me. How about 'Crowdutainment'?

Woo Hoo! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21430791)

News Flash!

Some guy in some lab at Google FARTED!

Front page at SLASHDOT!

Interesting issues it raises (5, Interesting)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21430815)

There IS a reason why Google's (and everyone else's) data is incorrect. I'm wondering if Google got their data directly, or wasted money paying for it from TeleAtlas or NavTeq or one of the other companies that gets it for free...

The US Tiger-Line Data it is based off of (SAME errors in data - I know, I've got the whole Tiger-Line set to use for comparison) clearly states in the massive 369 page "Technical Document" (well I think 369 pages is kinda large) that the data is purposefully innaccurate to ensure that it cannot be used to pinpoint the exact location of any residence to help ensure some level of privacy for each citizen.

By allowing users to correct the information, it also means the interpolative data for other addresses becomes accurate or more accurate... for instance, if my neighbor corrects his location pointer, and you look addresses on the street, even if his is in the database as an exception rule, you can easily spot the exception and re-plot the rest of the data.

For reasons of National Security (second reason cited in the Tiger-Line Docs), that also can be bad, because figuring out a pretty near exact location of sensitive areas just requires someone(s) who live on each side to correct their info.

Especially considering the data set works with 6 decimal places of latitude or longitude precision (which is about 13" give or take for most US locations... in Alaska it is far more accurate on the longitude portion at 6 decimal places)...

I'm still up in the air as to whether this ends up being a good thing or a bad thing...

Re:Interesting issues it raises (5, Insightful)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 6 years ago | (#21430897)

I'm still up in the air as to whether this ends up being a good thing or a bad thing...
Good or bad, security based on hiding location information of fixed, publicly known structures is obsolete.

Re:Interesting issues it raises (2, Interesting)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21430953)

True... though they dont hide it, it just isnt acurate, even though the information is stored in 6 decimal places...

And as for the gang checking out our site, you will find only one difference in the data compared to Google's - I dont adjust it to the left or right to make it pretty... the Tiger-Line Data specifies road direction, and whether the address is on the "left" or "right" (ie: if the road segment goes north, left addresses are on the west side). Google takes the exact same results, and moves them a couple pixels or fraction of degrees (amount determined by returned map size) tangential to the road in the appropriate direction... I may do that one day... but for now, the data I return is dead center in the middle of the road (by "choice" ie: too lazy to care at the moment - when I put up the mapping component, I will "fix" that).

Enjoy! Take the latitude and longitude, put a , between them, and drop em in Google Maps... compare that to the address you entered on my site, and you'll find that other than moving it "left" or "right" (as the data set describes it), it is otherwise identical...

Re:Interesting issues it raises (1)

bj bignell (1120471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21432885)

Good or bad, security based on hiding location information of fixed, publicly known structures is obsolete.

I don't think "obsolete" is the right word. May I suggest "stupid" or "laughable" as possible replacements?

Re:Interesting issues it raises (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431127)

err, why would it matter at all if the maps inaccurate besides making it a crappy map? if you want to pinpoint the location of something, just go there. it doesn't make it any more private because if you know the street address you can just go there...

Re:Interesting issues it raises (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431317)

The THEORY (ie: not mine, and dont know or care how valid it is) is that if the map data was accurate, bad people could pinpoint an exact location to within 13" +/- a few inches to do bad things, like use their imaginary WMDs to to pinpoint bombing - and (my guess) also to make the average citizen feel slightly more anonymous since the locations on the map dont actually correspond to their real location in the real world (most people wont make the connection you made - that the directions and location info will still put you within a few houses or so of their real location).

I'm not disagreeing with you - just pointing out what is *claimed* by those who compile the data (which is NOT me :-) I just USE the data... ).

The geographic portion though (street centroids, intersection *locations* (and types), town/city/county boundaries, waterways, etc) is supposed to be near 100% accurate to within those 6 decimal degrees of longitude and latitude.

Re:Interesting issues it raises (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 6 years ago | (#21432773)

This sort of paranoia seems confined to the US. The New Zealand [google.com] maps that Google uses have property boundaries marked, so if you have a street address, you can count houses from a known corner to find the exact spot 90% of the time (occasionally there are numbering anomalies that break this approach). The Japanese [google.com] ones have outlines of the houses, and having seen a few large-scale paper maps in Japan, I wouldn't be surprised if the source data came with surnames attached to those houses (at least the detached houses - apartments just have the name of the building).

Re:Interesting issues it raises (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431179)

If you'd look at Google's hybrid view, it's got Navteq's name all over it.

Interesting that the inaccuracies are by design.

Re:Interesting issues it raises (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431265)

Actually, Google seems to get their data from a variety of sources, NavTeq being one of them... trying out different zoom levels and different locations will show you different "contributors" for the data that Google uses.

For instance, try New York, NY... you will see the copyright statement says "Google Imagery, NASA, TerraMetrics, MapData & NavTeq" - other areas will have one or more of those and/or others that arent in that list...

As for the innaccuracies, I doubt they are by Google's or NavTeq's or TeleAtlas' design... just simply by the fact that the US Government decided upon including that innaccuracy, and the source data it all comes from is theirs (the govt's)... I just think it is all that is available for those companies to work with (at least when it comes to nearly complete data sets).

Re:Interesting issues it raises (1)

Vskye (9079) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431405)

The US Tiger-Line Data it is based off of (SAME errors in data - I know, I've got the whole Tiger-Line set to use for comparison) clearly states in the massive 369 page "Technical Document" (well I think 369 pages is kinda large) that the data is purposefully innaccurate to ensure that it cannot be used to pinpoint the exact location of any residence to help ensure some level of privacy for each citizen.
But the thing is, on my address lookups the data is like on the wrong side of the street. I don't see a privacy issue here, minus the said crook was a total dumb ass and couldn't check the address across the street. Also, if you use APRS then that data should be accurate, but you can set that off also. (although I'm sure you are aware of this also) As far as "security sensitive areas go, I seriously doubt that a terrorist wouldn't actually case the area physically first.

Re:Interesting issues it raises (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431567)

Some of the data is missing and gets interpolated from the rest... for instance, my house range isnt in the MAIN data. What I mean by that is, the even house numbers for my road segment arent in the dataset (the odd ones are). Figuring out where my house "is" (as accurately as any of the data will allow) simply requires using the odd numbered data to calculate it - or looking through the secondary data sets (where my house range IS located). Many sites, (and even some of the large companies that use it for their GPS's) also using the Tiger-Line Data, haven't figured that out... or have accidentally dropped records, or are using older Tiger-Line Data.

I have a feeling that when it decides on an address location, the software (due to a programming error) is placing the marker on the incorrect side because the interpolated location was taken from the other side of the street's info.

Inotherwords, lets say the street data has 101-121 Odd Left, 102-122 Even Right, 123-161 Odd Left, 163-171 Odd Left and 164-170 Even Right... and your house number is 150. There is no address block for it, so it finds it in the odd numbered block, which says it's on the left side... they forgot to reverse the direction since they are interpolating the location based off the odd instead of the even data.

Here's one such site (my house doesnt return any data - which means of the three required data sets to find it, they are using only 1 of them):

(Thought better than to name them here... last thing I need is a war against them... search if ya are bored, you'll find them)

They are using the Tiger-Line Data (an older set), and aren't using anything but the main file - that makes their data very innaccurate for any street with a curve or other intermediary points, as well as for the "supplemental address range" data (which constitutes probably MOST of the actual address data)...

It's funny that after years of doing it, they havent realized they cant just dump 50GB of the data and expect it to work...

Re:Interesting issues it raises (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431585)

For reasons of National Security
So all a "Bad Guy" has to do is to drive around the target(s) and note the Longitudes/Latitudes on his GPS and extrapolate from that. Further proof that those in power are uber morons.

Re:Interesting issues it raises (1)

Almahtar (991773) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431797)

In otherwords, be a hero while being an ass at the same time! Fuck with their data endlessly :-)

Yes, this is funny, but in light of the parent post: how much funny and how much true?

Re:Interesting issues it raises (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 6 years ago | (#21432707)

the data is purposefully innaccurate to ensure that it cannot be used to pinpoint the exact location of any residence to help ensure some level of privacy for each citizen.

Sounds like marketing nonsense to me. If they direct you to the right neighbourhood, then they might as well be directing you to the right address, as any stalker will just use street signs and house numbers once they're in the vicinity to get a finer grained location. The real reason map data providers insert errors is so they can detect and prove unauthorized copying.

Re:Interesting issues it raises (1)

icebrain (944107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21433319)

Somehow I suspect that it's more mundane than that. I'm guessing addresses are inaccurate because the mapping software interprets street addresses linearly. Say it sees that a certain stretch of street runs from 2100 to 2400 (address numbers). It then spaces the rest out evenly in between, so that if you want 2250, it picks right in the middle.

That's my guess, anyways.

Fixing wrong business information (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 6 years ago | (#21430821)

I have a business login and PIN for our local village hall in the UK. The current Google Earth marker for the hall is about 1 mile out of place and the yellow pop-up box that appears when you click it has the name of a completely unrelated Web site advertising party planning services. I moved the marker to the right position over a month ago but it's still wrong and I have not found out how to remove the Web site that has 'hijaaked' the marker - anyone!?

Thanks

Not bad! (4, Funny)

hdparm (575302) | more than 6 years ago | (#21430929)

I'm 10 minutes walk from a beach. In about an hour or so, it's gonna be waterfront, baby!

Re:Not bad! (4, Funny)

Neg4tive1 (1192211) | more than 6 years ago | (#21432633)

Meh, give it a few years and you'll be waterfront anyways.

For what it's good (4, Funny)

no-body (127863) | more than 6 years ago | (#21430959)

I actually enjoyed it that my address showed up a couple of houses off and I am not going to fix it.

Following Calvin and Hobbes strategy, one never knows who hits from above.

Re:For what it's good (1)

kongit (758125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21433025)

Sure but you are also hiding from those who might just wish you well. What if some unnamed party wanted to give the resident of your address a check for a million dollars and used google to get your address. While he could of just mailed it, he wanted to make sure that your mailbox received it so personally put it in the mailbox where google said your address was. When your neighbor moves because he gets a million dollars who will ever know that that money was meant for you.

I refuse to believe that more people wish me harm then wish me good. The only problem I can think of is that most of those who wish me good don't have time to find me, while those who wish to harm me seem to have all the time in the world.

Can't this be automated? (1)

compumike (454538) | more than 6 years ago | (#21430969)

Yeah, lots of addresses are off... but it seems like (for non-urban areas) it wouldn't be too hard to identify where buildings are (as compared to asphalt or grass). Couldn't they write something that moved the points to the nearest building location? Seems like that would work in a whole lot of cases.

--
Educational microcontroller kits for the digital generation. [nerdkits.com]

Re:Can't this be automated? (4, Informative)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431055)

Hi... it's not quite that simple. Here is how the data works... let's assume you live on a straight street...

The data has StartLong, StartLat -> EndLong, EndLat and corresponding StartHouseLeft, EndHouseLeft, StartHouseRight, EndHouseRight for that segment (which may or may not be your whole street - depends on whether the street curves somewhere, or is intersected by other streets, etc). Google, Tele, Nav, etc take what address you enter, and interpolate it based off that data so...

If the data set says your street starts at #0 and goes to house #40 and yours is house #20, it interpolates your address to be dead center on the segment and calculates that lat/long point based off that... but... what if half the houses on your street have 150' frontages, while the other half have 80'? Well, then the data is innaccurate... or what if (which seems to be the standard) the data starts your street at 1, but your street actually starts at 14? (Mine is exactly like that... so the whole first segment is highly innacurate). And the segment data dont take into account the WIDTH of interesections... so segment one (when it hits an intersection) ends in the middle of it. Segment two starts at that exact point. If the intersecting road is a rural or suburban local road, it may be 30-40' across... if it is a highway, it may be a couple hundred feet across (depending on median size, # of lanes, etc). That also makes all data even more innacurate (because the start address gets located on the highway - as the corner is represented by a point intersection instead of by a 2D road and highway width intersection.

So, no, there is no way way to fix it - because even though the data does say what type of road each segment is, that still wont tell you how wide the road (or any median on it) is. For instance, Interstates in the middle of no-where are often 2 lanes each direction... or in Norther Jersey, hit 6 or 7 lanes each direction... they both show up as the same road type.

Summary Inaccuracy (3, Informative)

x_MeRLiN_x (935994) | more than 6 years ago | (#21430997)

The summary claims that this feature is limited to users from the US, Australia and New Zealand - yet the article makes no mention of this. As a UK user, I can confirm that such a claim is not true.

Re:Summary Inaccuracy (1)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 6 years ago | (#21432199)

The claim may not be true, but it is indeed made in the article:

make your virtual neighborhood a better place -- that is, in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, where it works right now.

Is there anything these guys do which isn't smart? (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431015)

Dammmmmmnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

I hope they never turn evil, because come 10 years, 95% of internet connected users are going to be using their services.

Add missing data (5, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431203)

Next, I'd like to be able to add locations that aren't in the database yet, for example new housing developments. My house is over a year old and its street and address aren't locatable by anybody's mapping website yet. It's a bit inconvenient when I'm trying to have a friend over who hasn't visited my house yet.

Re:Add missing data (0, Redundant)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431273)

Wow, that's weird.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=366869&cid=21431207 [slashdot.org]

Same time stamp and everything!

Re:Add missing data (1)

Ziwcam (766621) | more than 6 years ago | (#21433169)

He beat you by 4 comments... 21431203 vs your 21431207. You were obviously copying... /sarcasm

Re:Add missing data (2, Interesting)

slagheap (734182) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431591)

Google mostly uses NAVTEQ data for maps.google.com (they seem to use TeleAtlas when it's an embedded map).

For NAVTEQ data, you can use their Map Reporter [navteq.com] to submit information. Once they get around to [1] incorporating the new data, it may then take another few months to filter back to Google and all their other customers.

[1] My street (built circa 2000) is missing from NAVTEQ, so I submitted a report describing the street, and all the house numbers about a month ago. It doesn't seem like anybody there has looked at it yet though.

Re:Add missing data (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431627)

What, you can't give them directions?

How about correcting roads? (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#21433115)

While I fully expected my new subdivision not to be addressable through google maps and similar I certainly didn't expect these search engines to show roads through where I live that don't exist nor have they EVER existed.

I can locate my house from satellite, even see it. As soon as I switch to hybrid or "roads" it becomes a little silly. I've checked with old timers in the area; meaning they still have their farms and family plots; and all agreed that the two roads in question never were there. (I haven't found either of them either, I have driven around the area and can't seem to find them, next stop is the county courthouse to see if they know where they are, the sheriff didn't)

Re:Add missing data (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21433721)

Just screenshot a map and add a dot where you live in MS Paint? :-)

Imagine when they didn't have the web and online maps.

How did they do then? Communicate over phone? Send a map by postal mail? OMG

How about adding locations? (3, Insightful)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431207)

Google maps still won't find my address. I'd like to add my whole street/neighborhood. It's been around for 5 years now. The satellite images have been even updated with higher resolution ones. Yet the map view still doesn't have any streets in my neighborhood.

Re:How about adding locations? (1)

AquaRichy (663473) | more than 6 years ago | (#21433141)

Which neighbourhood are you in? My older sister lives near Victoria, BC, and Victoria is the city in her mailing address. However, Google Maps classifies her only under another municipality name that technically applies to her area but that no one uses. Are there any strange alternatives that Google might list your neighbourhood under?

Hey Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21431689)

How come the markers on the mobile version and the "regular" web version, are not always in the same location? I know of circumstance where the markers for the same address differ by about a mile.

Real estate records would have been better (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21431741)

It would have been better if they tied the map data to real estate ownership records. Much of that data is available in machine-readable form. It would be cool, and useful, to zoom in and see the property lines. Displaying the ownership information would be even better. It's a public record, after all.

Or if they recognized house numbers in the imagery taken by the StreetView truck.

Re:Real estate records would have been better (1)

Flamesplash (469287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21432345)

It's already done by Zillow for the most part, so maybe they don't see a need to also do it right now.

Re:Real estate records would have been better (1)

riflemann (190895) | more than 6 years ago | (#21433481)

Uh...property lines *are* supported in Google Maps, take a look at one major city [google.com.au] with street numbers and boundary lines.

Some locales don't have the data, but the support is already there.

US-only? (1)

Saberwind (50430) | more than 6 years ago | (#21432165)

I managed to edit the markers for my former homes in the US, but the "edit" link is missing for the Canadian addresses I've tried.

meter == yard? (2, Interesting)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 6 years ago | (#21432525)

In addition, moving a place marker more than 200 yards (or 200 meters) from its original location requires a moderator's approval before the change shows up on the map.

In that case I would move markers by 200 meters, it gives you 18 yards more power.
I assume that you can move a marker only once, so that you can't keep moving markers 10 times in a row to move it 2000 yards (or 2km).
I foresee edit wars, markers that move constantly in a radius of 200 yards (or 200 meters).
And how would a moderator know if the edit >200 yards (or >200 meters) is correct or not? Maybe the company moved to a different building and google's info isn't up to date yet.

Re:meter == yard? (2, Funny)

staticdaze (597246) | more than 6 years ago | (#21433185)

Maybe the company moved to a different building and google's info isn't up to date yet

Most companies don't take the building with them...

Thats nice but... (1)

BigBrownChunx (1083363) | more than 6 years ago | (#21432625)

Does it let me fix the maps?

Here's my house [google.com] (please keep arial bombardments aimed at my neighbours)

Not only are the maps not lined up with the satelite imagery, but my property is aparently twice as big as its supposed to be... unless I now inadvertantly own two houses and some crazy people who say otherwise are living my second house.

If they trust me enough to let me fix the marker, can't they let me fix the maps too? :(

somewhat unsafe (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 6 years ago | (#21432905)

I moved my address a few houses down. However, it now says "last moved by *** *******" a minute ago."

Isn't that very insecure for those who have unlisted numbers and non-published addresses?

Wonderful... (1)

wildsurf (535389) | more than 6 years ago | (#21433359)

Except Google lists my house in a different city and zip code than the one it's actually in.

Naturally, that information is not editable. I've complained about this to my Google employee friends for years (not in a whiney sort of way), and even they have no idea how to correct it. On the other hand, I suppose I can live with being placed in Ventura, CA rather than Carpinteria, CA. :-)

Really Cool (1)

Shaltenn (1031884) | more than 6 years ago | (#21433679)

This is really cool. For years all map locations have been incorrectly reporting my parents house as being the turn onto the street leading to our house. Now it's actually moved to the correct spot.

Thanks Google! :)
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