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Google Maps Lost My Address!

December 11th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

wheres_waldoOne of my favorite online utilities is Google Maps.  They were one of the first to implement dynamic scrolling for maps (with the click-and-drag), and very nice piece of DHTML.  I enjoy smooth, feature rich browser interfaces, and theirs is a great one.  Their team created (yet again) a product that leads the market.

Prior to Google Maps, the best option was probably MapQuest.  They were ok, but became too commercialized…always suggesting a hotel, gas station or eatery along your route.  While that information may have been helpful, it cluttered up the screen and was a pain to work with.  Their scrolling consisted of clicking the edge of the screen to move the viewport, which was terribly inconvenient.

We bought a new house in a rural area just over a year ago, so I often map addresses I don’t recognize using Google Maps just to see how far away they are.  Yes, it’s a geeky thing to do, but I think it’s fun.  Because of that, my home address is my default location and always appears when I land on Google Maps.  Much to my surprise, I disappeared in early November!  My address was there in late October, but suddenly Google Maps couldn’t find me!  I searched for a few other streets in my neighborhood, and finally found a couple.  I panned around and found my street, but it was not labeled.  Then I checked Street View (another scary-but-cool feature of Google Maps) and found that data was still current.

So Google had Street View but no GIS data for my location.  A rather odd combination, since the converse seems more logical.  Who to ask in a situation like this?  None other than Google (the search engine, of course!).  After some research, it seems that Google has begun updating their map information to also include parcel data.  I couldn’t find much regarding their data source(s), but I did find an interesting blog post about it.

After panning around my subdivision, I did notice parcel lines but I cannot remember if they were there before.  I don’t think they were, which would make sense, but I just never noticed.  So what do do?  I love Google Maps and don’t want to use another provider, so I poked around and found this Google Maps help article on how to Report a Problem.  I followed the steps hoping for a resolution of some kind.

earthI am happy to report that, as of today, my street is back online!  My exact address isn’t pinpointed, but Google Maps drops a push pin on my street with a note stating that “Placement on map is approximate.”  Hey, I’ll take it!  It has been about 3 weeks since I reported the issue and, given the volume of reports Google is likely dealing with after this update, that’s not bad at all.  I received a confirmation email from them after my submission, but have not heard anything from them since.

Thanks to Google, I can finally find my way around again!

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