Betrayed – by Google Maps?

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Sure everyone knows that Mapquest blows and can’t be trusted, but The Holiness of Google Maps?

Last night it all came to a screeching halt.

My carful of companions and I were eager to see Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants at the Geffen Playhouse in or about the UCLA campus.

(by the way the show is awesome)

Knowing the treachery of the UCLA campus, I not only Google Mapped the address of the theater, but also of three parking structures nearby. We left plenty of time but when we reached what Google claimed was the address, we had no choice but to notice we were in a lovely residential neighborhood, not, in fact, at the Geffen Playhouse.

Fury ensued, and finally I allowed myself the awful truth: GOOGLE WAS WRONG.

I have NEVER seen this before. And I don’t want to see it again.

Is there something more reliable out there? I really hate to get lost – if I wanted to wing it I wouldn’t have bothered Googling!

16 Replies to “Betrayed – by Google Maps?”

  1. I don’t doubt your web-savviness or navigation, but am curious to see how things went wrong, for my edumacation. Thanks.

  2. I tried to go back into my History and get the page back but it won’t load, so I started over (entered the address again on a fresh opening page) and Google gave me a different map point – the right one.

    Was it user error? I doubt it because although the page won’t load, the same address shows in the URL in my history.

    Maybe Google was just off its meds last night….

  3. Something I always do whenever I map something out via Google is click on the satellite option and zoom all the way down. That way I get an idea of landmarks in the immediate vicinity of my destination, not to mention at least some verification that I’m heading for the right (or wrong) place.

  4. Well, you might want to try a little triangulation. Check the directions on the website for the restaurant, theater, concert venue, etc. Getting to LeConte and Westwood should not have been difficult since they’re not tiny streets.

    You can also do what people did before online maps, ask the person at the destination. They may help you find a shortcut or way to avoid congest major streets.

  5. Oh the humanity!
    I find my world rocked by this development but as the eternal ready for anything scout girl, may I suggest having a handy dandy Thomas Guide in the car for those Murphy’s law moments.

  6. We usually do have the beloved Thomas Bros. in the car. I don’t know why it wasn’t there last night, but I went out and bought a new one today, and noticed there is a randmcnally.com.

    I checked it out: It looks good, it remembers addresses in both the start and end points, and it knows where my house is (better than mapquest already).

    I still love Google, but it’s nice to know I can get a second opinion too.

  7. Was it a case of entering a south/north/east/west position in front of the street name? I noticed sometimes google can assume which one you are looking for. Maybe that was the case.

  8. Yeah, I’ve had google maps give me errors as well.

    I went to San Diego last week and the directions were close, but the address provided was on the wrong side of a cross street and cost me 30 minutes of driving around.

  9. i like to use Yahoo! Maps. Seems very accurate, and now also has live traffic overlays (similar to sigalert.com)

    You can save multiple addresses for easy access and it also remembers your most recently used addresses. For directions you can also use multi-destination. Like, picking up someone along the way, enter your home address, your friend’s address, and the destination and it maps out the entire trip.

  10. I’ve had Google Maps do me wrong a couple of times, and I finally quit using it after it told me to take an exit off of the freeway that didn’t exist. Sounds like I’ll have to check out Yahoo! Maps and randmcnally.com.

  11. funny thing, we were heading out to UC Irvine last night to see our niece in a cheerleading competition and Google steered us wrong as well. We too ended up in the middle of a neighborhood, next town over! Luckily, the entire event was running late so we didn’t miss anything.

  12. This is why everybody should buy a car GPS system… ebay around $400 for a very good one… I have a magellan 750 … great… amazing… would be lost without it.

    =)

  13. Campuses are usually extra-bad as zones of navigation: most campuses do not have “real” postal addresses – they usually have their own internal mail systems / postal codes – and as a result they often don’t have standard addresses… at least in the same way most houses or businesses do.

    My theory is that this may have been part of your map problem.

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