Friday 19 Sep 2008
What do you do when the three major mapping sources – Google, Yahoo, and MapQuest – not only can’t pinpoint your local business, but also don’t believe your road exists?
That’s the situation that came to light in a recent conversation I had with a very nice small business owner in the town of Hayward, Wisconsin. All three of the major sources for local information are returning very bizarre data about this man’s corner of the world, and I would like you to take a look at what I’m seeing and tell me what you think.
Searching By Address
Let’s begin by searching for this business’ address, which is 15989 Nursery Rd., Hayward, WI. MapQuest has incorrectly located this address. The correct location for the business is on a road that MapQuest doesn’t know exists. As you will see in the graphic below, Nursery Road is supposed to connect up with Dyno Drive and the business is actually supposed to be located at the corner of Dyno and Nursery, but MapQuest doesn’t know that:
The business owner pointed this out to me, and also asked me to notice the railroad tracks appearing alongside the highway. According to him, there hasn’t been a railroad there in 40 years. Just where did MapQuest get this weird information from?
So then, we turn to Google Maps, hoping for better accuracy, but this is what we see:
As you can see, Google is having the same problem as MapQuest, with the same incorrect address data and missing road.
So then, we turn to Yahoo, and it gets really weird. Yahoo is putting the business in a completely different location, and as you can see, they also don’t know about the missing road:
Searching By Business Title
Now for the part that will really make you throw up your hands. When I searched for the title of the business, Quast Automotive, Hayward, WI, look at what Google Maps shows me:
As you can see, Google is now showing the business’ address in a completely different location, despite the fact that it is giving the address as 15989 Nursery Road (the same as in my original search for the address). In essence, Google is saying the 15989 Nursery Road is located into two different places. And, yes, the missing road is still gone. *You may notice that this weird new location being given for the business is pinpointing it in roughly the same place Yahoo is erroneously pinpointing it.
What To Do?
What can this business owner do to rectify such huge discrepancies and errors across all three mapping entities? It isn’t just a case of moving a marker to the correct place, because according to the three maps, that road doesn’t exist! I’m putting a proposal together this weekend for a website design project for this nice little company, but what can we do about the major problem of the major engines sending people in every direction but to his door? What would you advise this small business owner to do? I’d appreciate your response.