Google Map Fail

October 28th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  2 Comments

google mapsThis is a screenshot from when I took the kids to Jing Fong, the ridiculous Dim Sum banquet hall, this weekend and tried to use Google Maps to help me drive around Chinatown.

Here’s what the Don’t Be Evil Cartographers told me: to get one block over from where we were (green pin) to Mott Street (red pin), I would need to take the Manhattan bridge across the East River into Brooklyn, then drive back into Manhattan on the Brooklyn Bridge.

I’ve been burned before by the Goog. I used it in Istanbul to tell a cabbie exactly where I was headed, because he wanted to drive me in circles and charge an extra $5–but the data roaming fees came out to almost $50. Actually, that’s AT&T and me colluding in greed/stupidity. But Google did almost make me drive into a river near my cousin’s place in southwest France because the dirt road the map was leading me down was suddenly not actually a road. Much more tragic, I was once sent to Hoboken when what I asked for was an address in Jersey City.

And yes, I am an idiot for trying to drive in Chinatown on a weekend. And it’s maybe weird to use Google Maps to figure out what streets are one-way. But fortunately, the single shred of common sense that I still have left kept me from going to the next borough just to get to the next block.


  1. beta dad says:

    October 28th, 2010at 12:05 pm(#)

    I’m pretty sure Google Maps is in cahoots with local businesses who pay them to route people past their shop windows. We went out to the country to pet goats and look at pumpkins last weekend, and I swear, Google had us driving through ten miles of business districts.

  2. Nathan says:

    October 28th, 2010at 2:32 pm(#)

    Yes, maybe that’s it. Although this route would have taken us only over the bridges and their related traffic-filled, retail-free onramps and offramps. So what’s their angle? Poking a bigger hole in the Ozone, I presume…

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