north port, florida and olive, new york?

Don’t get me wrong; I absolutely love Google Maps, especially the incorporation of satellite imagery, but the default-level U.S. map strikes me as a bit odd.

OK, so the West seems pretty straightforward, with city dots pretty much where you’d expect at this high-level view, where we find dots labeled San Francisco and Los Angeles, Portland and Spokane (though Seattle is oddly missing, with Port Angeles labeled instead), Las Vegas, Phoenix, etc. The midwest and southwest, too, have the expected pointers for Denver, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Chicago, etc.

But the East Coast, Atlantic Seaboard and South are rather puzzling. Sure, Boston and New York are there, and the District of Columbia is pointed out (albeit as though it were a state rather than as the city of Washington), but most of the other cities plotted in these regions at this view make no sense to me; many of them I’ve never even heard of.

Virginia, for example, has no cities bulleted at all, no Richmond or Norfolk, nor are there any population centers of note in Maryland, West Virginia, Georgia or either Carolina. Baltimore, Atlanta and Miami are absent. Instead, we have such cities as North Port (FL) and Bedford (PA). Louisville is here, but not the one you might have guessed; no, this Louisville is not in Kentucky, but in upstate New York, which state also boasts the apparently world-class cities of Fine, Long Lake, Olive and Hancock. There’s also a Dennis plotted on this map view, but Google Maps itself doesn’t even seem to know whether it’s in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York or New Jersey (it’s the latter).

Whuh? Do the Stanford whiz kids working at Google really know so little about East Coast geography?

2 thoughts on “north port, florida and olive, new york?

  1. Hey, my mom doesn’t work for Google. (Okay, only you and I will get that.) But yeah, weird. What irks me about Google Maps (and perhaps Google in general) is that it’s almost a little too minimal? Other than the basic “tour” there’s no real documentation for Maps, and new features get phased in without a word. For example, I didn’t know that Google was working on world maps until I read it on people’s blogs.

  2. I noticed those oddities also. In Michigan, Google Maps only shows the small townships of Portage and Breitung – no Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint, Ann Arbor, Lansing, etc. Near Breitung are the more well-known (to Michiganians) cities of Iron Mountain, Kingsford, and Norway, but you don’t see these until you zoom in many more levels.

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