Google Maps: We’re not evil, just not very good

By Kip Kniskern | Posted August 13, 2008 9 comments

Apparently there’s been a bit of a stir around what Google Maps did/didn’t do to their maps of the country of Georgia.  In a blog post today, Google says they haven’t done anything to their maps in relation to the conflict currently affecting Georgia, that they’ve just never had any good information on the country to begin with:

Some of our customers have asked if we removed map data from any of these countries in response to the recent hostilities in that region and I can assure you that is not the case. Data for these countries were never on Google Maps in the first place.

  Here’s what you get today from Google Maps:

googlegeorgia

Of course if you wanted information on Georgia, or South Ossetia, you could try Live Search Maps:

georgialivesearch

And then, in an unrelated but kind of funny aside, one of my favorite blogs PhotoShop Disasters posted what appears to be (poor) photoshopping of a Google Map of a part of the Netherlands, near Brummen:

brummengoogle

(note the repetition of the white tree, etc)

Live Search Maps has a nicer picture (of course):

brummenlivesearch 

We doubt the black helicopter assertion, as the patch of trees is next to a golf course, and we’re not saying that any and all map offerings probably aren’t fixed up somewhere along the line, just funny that PhotoShop Disasters picked up on it.

Posted August 13th, 2008 at 3:32 am
Category: News
Tags: Google, Live Maps
  • Alber1690

    This is what news stations love to proudly show when they use their on-screen maps? Sheesh. Now there’s yet another reason to move to Live Search Maps.

  • DavidK

    I hate to be nit-pickey… have you tried searching for “Georgia” in live maps, and Google maps?

    Live maps takes you straight to the US state of Georgia.

    Google maps on the other hand… oh look, there’s a world outside of the domain name I searched in!

    I’m not a google fan boy, but live search maps has got to have one of the worst search functions ever, even yahoo maps does better!

  • DavidK

    I should qualify that;

    if you search “maps.live.com”, it gives you the US state…

    if you search “maps.live.com.au”, it gives you the US state…

    if you search “http://maps.live.com/?mkt=en-gb”, it gives you the US state…

    so… how exactly did you make it find the country??

  • alexwilks88

    What DavidK said. Live Maps is the better mapping service in general, but the search is just _awful_. Sadly this makes it very difficult to use a lot of the time, and is quite unusual for a company so obsessed with getting search right.

  • DavidK

    You can tell I love maps… I think I have an addiction to them!

    Google maps in Australia has just gotten street view for nearly the entire country, and we’re about to get live traffic for Sydney at least.

    Live Maps Australian can’t even find my street! And Birds-Eye view only extends to a few blocks outside the CBD!

    Sad.

  • quikboy

    Those pictures really show a thousand words. :^)

    But I think the Photoshopped image has better color.

    @DavidK : True, I guess Live Maps is still too US-friendly, even though most Americans aren’t that aware it exists. Search works fine for me in my area. You just might have to be more specific.

  • Kip Kniskern

    Having a EurAsian country and a US State with the same name poses some unique problems. Live Search Maps had no problem going right to “Armenia”, for example.
    Typing in “Georgia, Asia” in Google found the country, and in Live Search Maps brought up a list of restaurants near Macon, GA :P
    However typing in “Gori, Georgia” in Live Search Maps brought up the correct country showing Gori, the Mtqvari river, the railway, and the main roads. In Google Maps, it correctly identified the location of the city within the blank space that is Google Maps rendition of the entire country.
    And since you asked, I didn’t even bother to search for Georgia. I just navigated to it in Live Maps 3d, an easy spin of the globe (for either map product).

  • foaf

    Agree with DavidK and Alex, living in the UK there are a load of UK towns and cities with US counterparts.

    So when searching for something I use Google Maps and when I want pretty pictures and planning tools I use Live Search Maps. Wish I could use LS Maps all the time!

  • BV2312

    @Foaf agree! When i use to search my home town leicester i use to get leicester square, london lol but it looks like they sorted that out… but yeah there are cities which crossover when searching