Anders Sundnes Løvlie’s blog about locative media, computer games and electronic text

Google ghost road

with one comment

Have you ever tried to use your gps or another map service on a road which has recently been affected by construction work? If you have, I guess you know the sneaking suspicion that I sometimes have, that the ghost of Douglas Adams has been reincarnated in my GPS.

Apparently Google maps have decided to do something about the time it takes for their maps to get updated with changes in the roads. At least I just noticed that if you ask for directions from my dear home town Volda to the islands right west of it, google will instruct you to take that brand new road through the deepest undersea tunnel in the world, the Eiksund tunnel. My heart is bursting with patriotic pride! The thing is just that the tunnel doesn’t exist yet.

Vis større kart

Well ok, I guess it technically exists already, but construction is not finished and the road won’t be opened for another few months. It was supposed to be opened a month or so ago, but has been delayed until March. So what I wonder is, has Google started to insert data from upcoming construction work in advance, in order to make sure their maps are immediately up to date? That would be quite cool, of course. But in that case, why have they still not updated the maps for Nylandsveien in Oslo, where the new roundabout was supposed to have been in place nearly half a year ago? (One of the busiest intersections in the great kingdom of Norway, for those of you doomed to live in less Scandinavian corners of the world.)

Vis større kart

Apologies for being so local, but then again this blog IS about location-based media… And if Google have started to get data from our open standard-loving government in advance, I would like to know: How much did they have to pay for it?

Needless to say, Open Street Map is correctly up-to-date in both the cases above: No tunnel yet, but roundabout where it should be. 😉

Written by Anders Sundnes Løvlie

Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 14:21

Posted in Locative media

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  1. I think OpenStreetMap has some tag that can be added to roads etc. (start_date ?) so the feature won’t be displayed untill it’s built, and of course that can be edited if the opening gets delayed.

    I’ve used planning notices that have to be placed near construction. Not yet for something new, but I got the name of a few footpaths I wouldn’t otherwise of known while one was closed for repairs.


    Thursday, January 10, 2008 at 13:20

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