Google Maps frustration

I do not expect much help with any of this but I am curious about the responses.

I have been a Google Local Guide, I assume like many of you are. I submit suggested edits when I see something in Google Maps that is incorrect or inappropriate. Usually my submissions take affect very quickly. Sometimes they are reviewed and sometimes they are not approved.

Something that took a couple of years to get acted upon were the caves that Charles Manson and his followers used for “worship”. They exist in Simi Valley near Los Angeles. Actually the caves (I am told) extend from Simi Valley to Chatsworth. Someone had given them the category Place of Worship. I submitted updates to change the category but they never changed the category. I sent messages to many people. Finally the caves were simply removed from Google Maps.

I added Brand Park - Google Maps and Google even sent me a message thanking me for doing so; they say it has had over 250,000 views. Yet if you look at it in Street View then you can see that it is much larger than what the non-satellite Map shows. It is frustrating that Google does not fixed it, I tried everything I could think of to get them to change it.

The really irritating one is UMSC Logistics Base - Google Maps. That should be USMC, not UMSC. I submitted an edit and the response is that they cannot verify it. It is actually a second location for (within) Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow - Google Maps. I called there and confirmed all that. (At first when I said UMSC he corrected me and I siad that no, Google Maps says UMSC.) He said they have been trying to fix Google Maps and Google just does not fix problems. If Google wants the base personnel to do something then Google could at least provide them some guidance.

I know that none of you are Google and that Google does not look here but perhaps others can share similar experiences.

2 Likes

Not a very similar experience at all, but when I first tried to buy windscreen wiper blades for my car, the guide in all the local car accessory shops said they were 21" wiper blades. They’re not, they are 18", possibly 19" at a push, but a 21" will go out past the end of the windscreen, onto the rubber and beyond. When I mentioned this in one of the accessory shops, hoping that they’d feed it back to their supplier and get it fixed*, they told me that my car must have been modified, they wouldn’t accept that the guide was wrong. I’m struggling to think of how you’d modify a car to change the size of windscreen wiper that it needs - that’s quite a serious modification. Perhaps a seventies-style “roof chop”, but my car didn’t have one of those. If it had, it’s unlikely I’d just be looking up wiper blades in their guide book, I’d know it would be non-standard.

( * The only need for it to be fixed was that it was wrong. Of course, once I knew their guide was wrong, I just ignored it. Now we have the net it’s easy to tell everyone else that it’s wrong, too. I just resented having some smug person behind a counter telling me that they knew more about my car than I did and refusing to accept that a mistake might have been made somewhere. And being unable to explain why the same guide listed a different model of car, based on the same bodyshell and using the same windscreen, with the correct length wipers. )

All this happened in the late 1980s, but it still annoys me now.

1 Like

I don’t know if it’s still the case, because I’ve long-since given up on Google maps in favour of OpenStreetMap, but it used to be that anyone could submit corrections to the maps.

Where I live, there is a building across the road which has a sign on it with the building name. Admittedly, it does look somewhat like a street sign, so it’s understandable that Google might have picked that up incorrectly from street view - especially as there are no street signs at this end of the village. As a result, Google has an entire road incorrectly labelled with the name of the building. I reported it to Google. Again. And again. And again. Ten years later, it’s still wrong. Of course Google knows better than somebody who lives here. banghead

More recently, I realised that the local builders’ depot is marked in the wrong place, quite some distance from the correct location and not even on the same (rural) road. The labelled building is actually the funeral home. I didn’t even try to correct it.

2 Likes

I know the feeling. The thing I do not know is the details of who approves the changes and whether they get paid. I get the impression that sometimes it is a matter of personal prejudices. If so then it is scary that they have people whose personal prejudice consider Charles Manson’s “Place of Worship” to be acceptable and that they are incapable of recognizing when USMC is misspelled.

There is a restaurant near me that has changed ownership and it has been very difficult to get them to change the name. I will not bore others with details but the Google person (whether volunteer or not) that approves changes seems to be prejudice about it. At first I assumed that it was because (I do not know, I assume) the new owners are not paying Google but in another thread here someone says that that does not happen. The only other explanation I can think of is personal prejudices. I took pictures of the new name and Google sent me a message thanking me for the pictures, eventhough the old name is what shows in Google Maps and they say it is permanently closed.

The most frustrating thing about it, I imagine, is that for a lot of people, the way to learn stuff (or to find it out, at least) is to “google it”. A whole load of people will argue that because they’ve found something on google, it must be correct.

2 Likes

Ain’t that the truth! lol

We run a tourism-related business, which was originally marked on Google maps as round the corner from its actual location. I did in fact manage to change that, through “Google My Business” (as it was then). However, before it was changed, we would watch people, phone in hand, slavishly following Google’s directions without ever looking up and noticing they were walking right past the place they wanted to be. rolleyes Eventually, we just took to intercepting any stranger with a phone in hand. lol

1 Like

See also: People who follow satnavs (incorrectly), drive onto railway lines or into lakes, and then claim “my satnav told me to” instead of admitting “I can’t read a satnav display”.

1 Like

I contacted the County Council in my old home town some years ago to point out they had wrongly named a couple of roads on one of their printed maps, using the same names that Google used. They replied that they were aware of the errors, but that the official records were wrong. :shifty: They still are, apparently, years later.

1 Like

I noticed this one the other day, but it’s more of a traditional error than one to blame on Google. On one side of the road junction:

Screenshot 2021-04-09 113844

This is an industrial estate, so not terribly uncommon to have such unimaginative road names. On the other side of the same road junction, let’s dispense with that and evoke images of faraway places:

Screenshot 2021-04-09 113910

3 Likes

I know things have changed over the years.
In the days of “Google Map Maker” before “Local Guides”, other Map Maker users could review and either approve or not of other user’s changes.
I think it was similar with Local Guides, local guides would review proposed changes by other local guides.
I had assumed that was still the case, but checking just now, I can’t find the part where you can review changes. Though that does not mean it’s not there, more that I am now unable to find it, but it does indicate some change in how this works.
But clearly you are not alone in finding difficulty in getting changes approved.

1 Like

Yeah it is not clear to me also. I know that in the past Local Guides (or the equivalent) reviewed edits but it is not clear what happens now.

I found Google Maps Spam Fighting - Edits Not Approved - Solution? | Local Search Forum. That seems helpful, especially Business Redressal Complaint Form - Google My Business Help. There have been various forums for Google Maps and where they are (or it is at) has been a moving target but the latest version, wherever it is at, has not been helpful. I suspect that Google has ended participation in the forums so perhaps that form is the way to get their attention.

I find it very interesting that this type of thing actually exists. :open_mouth:

Is this some type of volunteering, or is acting as a Google Local Guide actually a profession? I just assumed things were photographed by a satellite and a google car, and these two recorded the street names or smth hahahaha

The Satellite View is obviously from satellites. The Street View is from Google vehicles that drive around; sometimes we can see the vehicle in reflections. However there are usually other photos. Some of them might be contributed by the business owner but most of them are contributed by whoever wants to contribute. Also, businesses and other locations of interest to the public can be added by anyone. If a business closes then sometimes the closure is unknown to Google until someone reports it.

Look at All Valley Rentals - Google Maps. Look for the button Suggest an edit. People can submit edits, such as the phone number of the business and the hours. I am not sure how much you can do without being a Local Guide; you might need to sign up as a Local Guide first before submitting edits. Under the Suggest an edit button are a row for viewing photos and under that row is an Add a photo button. You can upload photos. Also, you can of course submit reviews. That picture everyone sees when they go to that location in Google Maps was taken by me and has gotten over 700,000 views because it was selected as the picture to represent the business. The way to get many views for pictures is to contribute photos that Google uses like that for a business that many people look at; my photos have received over 35 million views. It costs nothing to be a Local Guide but we get very little for it too. If you get thousands of points as a Local Guide then you might get a few small perks but I do not remember taking advantage of any.

1 Like