Thursday, October 21, 2010

Google Maps Dirty Trick or Malfunctioning Feature?

[Update] Brewster and I discussed this, and it looks more like a malfunctioning feature. He pointed out that putting more of the address in gets the right location, i.e. "300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco CA" works. So, perhaps "300 Funston" is ambiguous enough that Google Maps is trying to figure out where it is, connects it to the Archive (Wayback Machine) and then routes to an obsolete location? Reported it to Google of course, but may take a while. [/update]

Wasted about 30 minutes this morning thanks to a weird coincidence. I'm going to the Internet Archive's new office at 300 Funston in San Francisco, to attend the Books in Browsers conference.

However, Google Maps routed me to a point two miles away when I typed 300 Funston into my Android phone's Google Map function. Not really knowing all of San Francisco's streets, I got out and recognized the old location of the Internet Archive. Walked up, and they said that the Archive had moved out a couple of months ago. Called a friend at a PC, and they got the same misroute to 116 Sheridan Avenue, San Francisco, California 94129.

Here's the link as it works right now: [deleted link], hope they fix it soon.

Any coincidence that Brewster Kahle happens to be one of the major thorns in Google's side when it comes to the Google Books lawsuit settlement? Inquiring minds want to know.

Or did Google Maps just know that I needed to go to the Main Post of the Presidio to honor the original location of the Archive?

Helpful hint for people hoping to go to the actual 300 Funston address: type in 298 Funston. That works!

Update: or the full address...

1 comment:

soolara said...

Two things:
1. Yahoo maps seems to work fine (heh)
2. If you type "Internet Archive" into Google maps it pulls up the old address but also gives you the new address under the biz name "WayBackMachine" - Google or Brewster's trick or just a DBA listing???