AN ERROR in Google Maps has sent tourists in Australia into a dead end. The (relatively rare) error saw those seeking the Blue Mountains, with its stunning vistas of the Australian bush, into a cul-de-sac in the town of Dargan, New South Wales.
The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that 'hundreds of confused sightseers' wound up in Valley View Road, Dargan. Typing "Blue Mountains" into Google points them at a street, roughly 19 miles north of Katoomba, where the really cool stuff actually is.
Residents, sick of the repeated intrusions have put up a sign reading "BLUE MOUNTAINS is not here (Google Maps is wrong) You need to go to KATOOMBA or BLACKHEATH".
Google has now fixed the problem and a request for the Blue Mountains will take you to the National Park.
"The various types of data found in Google Maps come from a wide range of sources, including third-party providers, public sources, and user contributions," said Gustaf Brusewitz, on behalf of Google Australia.
"Overall, this provides a very comprehensive and up-to-date map experience, but we recognise that there may be occasional inaccuracies that could arise from any of those sources. In this instance, we didn't get it quite right and we have now fixed it. We apologise for any inconvenience caused to local residents and visitors."
Computer mapping services are, on the whole pretty good. But they're certainly not infallible. Back in 2012, Apple's newly launched Maps service showed just how dreadful things could be with entire streets missing and horrible distortions in the graphics.
Meanwhile, the EU has (unsurprisingly) expressed its concern about the potential monopoly on Google Maps, given that it is the platform of choice for most users.
After all, remember Streetmap? Mapquest? No, us neither. But they used to be the go-to services in the UK at one time.
These days, Google is far from the only game in town - there's Nokia's Here, Apple Maps and for those with a sense of adventure, Bing Maps, not to mention loads of others.
But none of them are perfect, and sometimes their mistakes get repeated on each other's platforms. µ
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