The East Cut is a neighborhood in San Francisco invented by a branding agency. Such things usually wither on the local-business bullshit vine, but thanks to Google Maps, it's now the plain reality of that part of town.
Another in Detroit is now known by a mispelling, made by the mysterious cartographers who run the service. And one LA community now there was cooked up by a realtor to make a hilly part of Silver Lake sound fancy, and somehow ended up enshrined on the service after he began using it in listings.
Timothy Boscarino, a Detroit city planner, traced Google’s use of those names to a map posted online around 2002 by a few locals. Google almost identically copied that map’s neighborhoods and boundaries, he said — down to its typos. One result was that Google transposed the k and h for the district known as Fiskhorn, making it Fishkorn.
I imagine Google's paid a lot of money to sources it appropriated in its rush to get everything online before anyone else; mapmakers who do this are caught due to Trap Streets, though the traps can be much less obvious than an imaginary street. And sometimes all a reporter need do to expose a falsehood is put two quotes next to each other:
Mr. Robinson said his team asked Google to add the East Cut to its maps. A Google spokeswoman said employees manually inserted the name after verifying it through public sources.
It's funny, but Google describing a "brand experience design company" hired by a local nonprofit as a "public source" is a clever way of making people assume it refers to "public record" or "government" without actually saying so. This reflects a strategy for laundering questionable privately-generated data so it seems as real as the census. Just apply the same logic to other forms of public record (arrests, demographics, sex offenders) that Google might one day map and you see where that goes.
Last year, Google was rocked by a succession of mass uprisings by its staff, who erupted in fury after discovering that the company was secretly pursuing a censored Chinese search tool and an AI project for US drones, and that it had secretly paid Android founder Andy Rubin $150m to quietly leave the company after […]
If Facebook is broken for you in some way large or small, you can't call them to complain -- the company doesn't have a customer service number, it has a "support portal" for people suffering with the service, which combines the worst of autoresponders with the worst of underpaid, three-ring-binder constrained support staff to make […]
Google has augmented its preferences for personal data retention; in addition to choosing to have all your data stored until you delete it, or having no data stored (thus depriving you of the benefits of personalization), the company has a new intermediate option: a rolling deletion program, which lets you specify that any data older […]
Kudos to those of us who have chosen a less wasteful third option to “paper or plastic” at the supermarket or club stores. Tote bags are reusable, but they can be a pain to tote around. Here’s an upgrade to that planet-saving measure. The Club Cart Lotus Trolley Bag is that rare tote you’ll want […]
Looking for a career in IT, gaming or software development? In the ever-changing world of the internet, versatility is your biggest asset. In other words, mastering Java might not cut it in an interview if you don’t know C#. However, there’s a bundle that covers the essentials in most any language. The Legendary Learn to […]
Getting a set of cookware that will outlast you is one of those signs you’ve truly grown up. It used to be easy to find durable materials that also cook well, but these days it can be hard to tell what’s quality and what brands are coasting by on a recognizable name. Well, there’s at […]