0461: "Google Maps"

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Exenon
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby Exenon » Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:12 am UTC

Somehow, i get the bad impression, that Google Maps IS in fact, completely bugged.... :roll:
I mean, it seams to work most of the time, but thats only because Google has paid millions and millions to make it look as such. Its a conspiracy ! Google is the puppeteer of all this little world, but, in fact, it is Bill Gates that rules the world. Google and Microsoft ! Oh me yarm ! People, wake up ! Its time to make a new world order ! Linux to power ! :mrgreen: !!

(But please, lets eradicate Mac in the process too !)
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Domovoi
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby Domovoi » Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:31 am UTC

I can't believe that the GPS-loving XKCDians still rely on something like printed directions.

I'm also baffled by how many people hear have been steered wrong by their navigation systems. I mean, I regularly have to drive to the tiniest hellholes, and TomTom never once steered me wrong.

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ManaUser
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby ManaUser » Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:05 am UTC

foxtongue wrote:When asked how to get to a spot in Vancouver that's across a short bit of water from downtown, which is crossed by two bridges and a passenger boat, google maps claims that you must take a route tht takes a day to accmplosh, rather than public transit, which takes fourty five minutes. Not only does it tell that you need to travel an amazing 222 km to cross the river, instead of the usual four, you have to visit a different city.

It's really quite impressive.

But that's not really Google's fault. You had it set for walking, which by definition does not include taking public transit. A "walk or take public transit" option would actually be very handy, but it doesn't exist, yet.

For what it's worth my own worst navigation incident (using MapQuest IIRC) was trying to reach a marina office which had a berth number for an address. I'd never heard of that before but surprisingly MapQuest accepted it. Unfortunately the directions it generated put us in a maze of twisty little pas streets in some kind of port industrial park. And most importantly on the wrong side of the water. Of course it took us a while to figure that out.

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phlip
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby phlip » Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:05 pm UTC

My only crazy directions to date from Google Maps doesn't happen any more, I guess they fixed it, so no link to the actual glitchy route... but a link to one that fakes it by me dragging the markers around.

Anyways, the location of the destination, when looked at alone, is some distance from the road - it's actually pointing to the middle of the building, which is a reasonably large block. So when you did a directions search, it snapped it to the nearest road, which, instead of being the road that the building is actually on (and the road mentioned in the search string), is actually the overpass that happens to be right nearby. So it would send you quite a way away, to find an onramp to the overpass, and then drive back.

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IntlFish
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby IntlFish » Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:14 pm UTC

The hokey directions in the comic resonated with me. I just finished a trip from Lake Powell to Arhus, Denmark, and the first leg of the trip was from a marina in the north of the lake to the city of Page, AZ, on the south end of the lake. For those of you fora frequenters who are respectfully unawares, Lake Powell is rather large and Google Maps quoted the directions' total time at 5.5 hours. While this estimate turned out to be accurate, I was very anxious about segments of the trip, especially during the drive portion through the Navajo Nation. Some of the road descriptions on the print-out were really vague. After following the mostly-paved two-lane highways through the desert landscape, encounters with 3 miles of unpaved switchbacks (sans guardrails), several unmarked roads (hurt my breaks once or twice), and one flooded low point (thank you big high-centered van!), I arrived safely in Page. No ferries, old barns, or spectral wolves, but the canyons, buttes, and sunset were most excellent.

From Denmark, Afskend (farewell)!

ThemePark
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby ThemePark » Tue Aug 12, 2008 4:10 pm UTC

All of this makes me wonder if Google Maps couldn't be used for a alternate version of Geohashing. Maybe the Google employees are secretly XKCD fans, so all of this stems from Geohashing!

Oh, and welcome to my town, IntlFish! :D
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radtea
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby radtea » Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:22 pm UTC

ManaUser wrote:
But that's not really Google's fault. You had it set for walking, which by definition does not include taking public transit. A "walk or take public transit" option would actually be very handy, but it doesn't exist, yet.


Except the ferries from Tswwasen to Departure Bay and back to Horseshoe Bay are part of the provincial ferry system, which is within epsilon of "public transit."

And you can walk across the Lion's Gate Bridge to get to West Vancouver from downtown without any difficulty. The Google algorithm is completely, insanely wrong in this case: it wouldn't take more than an hour or so to walk between the points shown.
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Mabus_Zero
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby Mabus_Zero » Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:12 pm UTC

The spectral wolf will devour your soul!
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fishyfish777
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby fishyfish777 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:30 pm UTC

I think that the spectral wolf icon is fairly cute :D Might use it as an avatar...

[EDIT]changed.[/EDIT]
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sandyman
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby sandyman » Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:35 pm UTC

Spooky. Have to wonder about where they're going. Also liked the "careful" part.

davieb
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby davieb » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:21 pm UTC

Ha!

Reminds me of my GPS experience two months ago. We flew into Reno, Nevada, and were staying at the Peppermill Hotel. I set the GPS unit up on the dashboard of the rental car, told it I wanted destinations in Nevada, and typed in "Peppermill." The GPS immediately sent me onto the freeway in rush hour traffic, telling me that I'd be at my destination at 10:56PM. Since it was only about 6PM I thought that was odd. After several minutes of bumper-to-bumper traffic, I got off onto city streets and called my brother, who lives in Reno, for directions. He laughed at me.

The Peppermill in Reno is about a mile from the airport---the Peppermill on the Nevada/Utah border, though, is six hours away. Even though the Peppermill has been there for years, the GPS only knew of one such hotel in Nevada, and was sending me east toward Utah instead of west, toward the hotel that was easily visible from the airport. I guess you have to apply the same test as the math teacher always required: does your answer make sense!

Evark
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby Evark » Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:39 am UTC

Pfft. As a fellow MAian, I've learned that when traveling in Upstate New York, the only way to foolproofedly cross Lake Champlain is on the Grand Isle Ferry. It's the only one open 24/7.

I'm assuming here based on "Rt. 22" mentioned in the strip, but if my assumption is correct it's a funny coincidence that xkcd's creator was traveling to a similar area on a similar date as my brother and I. Convinced me to sign up and post something.

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nadreck
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby nadreck » Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:27 pm UTC

Evark wrote:Pfft. As a fellow MAian, I've learned that when traveling in Upstate New York, the only way to foolproofedly cross Lake Champlain is on the Grand Isle Ferry. It's the only one open 24/7.


Hmm, really fool proof is driving only a little bit north of the Grand Isle Ferry (30 miles or so) and taking the Rouses Point bridge. Its open 365 days a year unlike the Grand Isle Ferry.
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420sailr
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby 420sailr » Thu Aug 14, 2008 5:09 am UTC

Wow, I got home yesterday from a sailing regatta in New York and saw this when I caught up with the comic. What was really weird was that I had pretty much this exact thing happen to me while I was away, but with a Garmin GPS instead of google maps. Seeing the map that other people posted I'm pretty sure it was the same place cause the route went right through the area I was and the street names are all the same. Guess it's not just google maps that got that one wrong. The best part of the whole thing was that there was a bridge less than a quarter mile away from the turn off where it said to go to take the ferry.

Right, off to the intro thread.

[edit] I should also mention that in five days of sailing on the lake that these directions were telling us to cross, I never once actually saw the ferry cross the lake.

sje46
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby sje46 » Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:31 am UTC

420sailr wrote:Wow, I got home yesterday from a sailing regatta in New York and saw this when I caught up with the comic. What was really weird was that I had pretty much this exact thing happen to me while I was away, but with a Garmin GPS instead of google maps. Seeing the map that other people posted I'm pretty sure it was the same place cause the route went right through the area I was and the street names are all the same. Guess it's not just google maps that got that one wrong. The best part of the whole thing was that there was a bridge less than a quarter mile away from the turn off where it said to go to take the ferry.

Right, off to the intro thread.

[edit] I should also mention that in five days of sailing on the lake that these directions were telling us to cross, I never once actually saw the ferry cross the lake.

Was it Lake Champlain?
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby bbctol » Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:36 pm UTC

Yet another one in which I had already thought of the joke. Get out of my head! Also, I like the Cryptonomicon/Baroque Cycle reference.

420sailr
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby 420sailr » Sun Aug 17, 2008 4:39 am UTC

sje46 wrote:Was it Lake Champlain?

No, it was Lake Chautaqua.

cad3
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby cad3 » Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:21 pm UTC

Seriously Google?

wtf.

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This_is_a_username
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby This_is_a_username » Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:50 am UTC

LIIIIIIEEEEEESSSSSS!!!!!!!!
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bluegenetic
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby bluegenetic » Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:11 pm UTC

Better try wikimapia... LOL!!

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brandtsound
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby brandtsound » Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:45 am UTC

This actually doesn't seem to far off from Microsoft's Streets and Trips- in some rural parts of the United States the directions would just fade to "Turn onto local roads" and the map would show you cutting through some guy's corn field to reappear on another set of roads some 10-15 miles away.
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PJ the Epic
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby PJ the Epic » Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:50 pm UTC

You guys think this is a joke:

Here is an actual google maps quote:

34. Turn left at Rue Du Port 0.4 mi
35. Take the Matane-Baie Comeau ferry to Franquelin 37.7 mi
36. Continue straight to stay on Matane-Baie Comeau

And it didn't even tell us about the spectral wolf :(

Lurking Grue
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby Lurking Grue » Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:40 am UTC

Number 80 reminds me of the old text adventures. Does the number have anything to do with 1980?

But I am disappointed:

    There is a mention of a Spectral Wolf.
    The area is dark.

And yet there is no mention of a grue here.
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alx
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Re: "Google Maps" Discussion

Postby alx » Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:25 pm UTC

Google just updated the Google Maps application on Android phones to the new version, which includes navigation. When I went to test this feature out, I got a warning screen similar to the one new Garmins display, with a twist. It looked like this (emphasis added, of course):

Navigation

Google Maps Navigation is in beta. Use caution.

Do not manipulate this application while driving. Traffic data is not real-time, and directions may be wrong, dangerous, prohibited, or involve ferries.

Keep your eyes on the road!


Nod to XKCD? I think so!


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hakuna_miata
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Re: 0461: "Google Maps"

Postby hakuna_miata » Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:32 am UTC

I'm PRETTY SURE that's Route 22 that passes through Ticonderoga. That lake is so damn long that it looks like a river until you zoom out. And yeah, about two hours would sound right. Also, the woodedness sounds right, too, it being deep in the Adirondacks. It's weird, there's only a bridge across this lake I think in just one point very far north. Beautiful place, and so are the ferries. If you're there, at the ferry near in Ticonderoga(there are a bunch of these ferries), you can, at night, see the light of a lighthouse on the other side of the mountains in Vermont piercing through the sky. And then there's a slaughterhouse on the Vermont side that's all lit up. The ferry itself looks beautiful, but I'd say it looks even neater from the other side of the lake in Vermont. I can imagine actually living there'd be kinda boring, and I know boring, I live in Pennsylvania, but it's just so damn beautiful. I was searching for the Dodge Journey, ya know, the one that, to my dismay, was hidden in Maine.
Last edited by hakuna_miata on Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:08 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

angrygreenfrogs
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Re: 0461: "Google Maps"

Postby angrygreenfrogs » Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:57 pm UTC

haha, saw this comic again today and it reminded me of the worst case of Google mis-direction I've personally experienced.

They still haven't fixed this.

Type "from: mogi das cruzes to: angra dos reis" into Gmaps.

I was living in Brazil and typed this route into my phone one night, stupidly planning an overnight drive to get to the destination (a beautiful beach town called Angra dos Reis).

These directions literally take you 2.5 hours off the highway into the mountains and ultimately terminate something like 10 miles up an unfinished dirt road when you finally realize there's no way in hell this is possible with a normal car.

It's an unfinished road between states that apparently ran out of funding before they completed it (those familiar with Brazilian politics will understand).

Follow the route carefully with satellite images and notice the point almost at Paraty at which it turns into a zigzaggy route with nothing but pure trees. Yep, I've been there at 3am. Not to be repeated.


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