Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dear Google, Pt. II

In my last post, I complained about the apparent uselessness of setting a default location in Google Maps. The address I was looking for was in Hamilton, Ontario, which is also my default location. The address it gave me was in Atlanta, Georgia. (And not only was the location way off from the location I was looking for, but the street name wasn't even the same!) The next day, I was looking for another location in Hamilton. Having learned my lesson from the day before, I remembered to include the city in my search, although I neglected to include the province. This time, Google Maps sent me to Hamilton, New Zealand. Thus, by being more specific about my location, I've caused Google Maps to be less accurate, taking me to a different continent entirely! If I include the province next time, will it suggest an address on Mars? I guess if I want Google to show me the right location, I should just enter the street number and nothing else, not even the name of the street.

As far as I can tell, the only reason to set a default location is so that, when you load Google Maps, rather than showing you a map of the whole continent, it shows you your default location. This is really quite pointless, since your default location is one that you're likely very familiar with, and thus won't need Google Maps for at all.

[1] It doesn't say much for the city of Hamilton (Ontario, Canada) that Google Maps would think I was looking for an address in a smaller city, in a smaller country, located roughly on the other side of the planet from the one I was looking for. I knew that Hamilton has a bad reputation, but I didn't know it had gotten so bad that even a website wants to avoid it.

No comments: