Friday, October 16, 2009

Google vs. Reality

A few weeks ago, I noticed that Google's search engine had changed and no longer seemed quite as good as it used to be. Today, while looking up the business hours for Banfield Pet Hospital, I was surprised to see some major problems with Google Maps.

How does Google control its map-making? More specifically, who the heck decided that the Home Depot/PetSmart/Sports Authority shopping complex is really the Pathmark Shopping Center?

The last time I checked, what Google claims is the West Dover Street Playground is at best described as a parking lot, while the Rolling Mill Playground (where are they getting these names?) is an empty lot next to the First Light power generator.

Moving north up the map, I learned that Google thinks Rose Hill, or perhaps the land just below it, is called Center Square, which is actually what the Green used to be called. Then again, Google Maps seems undecided about what to call the Green, since it has it labeled twice (once with a cute little pine tree).

And then there's Naugatuck Valley Community College. Granted, it has been through numerous name changes, but I'm pretty sure it's been called Naugatuck Valley since before Google existed. And what's the Westwood Shopping Center? Isn't that really the former Scovill headquarters?

 Finally, here's Google Maps' opinion of the actual location of Naugatuck Valley Community Technical College (which also no longer exists, "Technical" was dropped from the name a few years ago).


ironrailsironweights said...

The maps on Bing are much better than Google Maps, though it's harder to scroll and zoom.


Anonymous said...

That is really bizarre. I recall when we had a Pathmark in Colonial Plaza (Thomaston Ave & W. Main), but google still has the wrong location. The other errors are just way off.

On a similar note, UConn has a mapping program that lets you compare aerial photos from 1934, 1991, 2006, and 2008. It's neat to see all the buildings downtown 70+ years ago and what existed before the highways went up.

The link is