Software, technology, sysadmin war stories, and more. Feed
Friday, April 5, 2013

Revenge of the Apple Maps errors

Back on Tuesday, I promised "many many more" Apple maps woes. Today, I deliver on that promise.

Olive Garden where???

I spotted this one while virtually cruising El Camino Real in Apple Maps to look for anomalies. This one jumped right out at me. There's no Olive Garden in Santa Clara! Trust me, I know this one well. For the longest time, you had to go to Fremont, down to Blossom Hill in San Jose, or up to Palo Alto. There's one in Milpitas now, but there still isn't one in Santa Clara itself.

Still, it got me wondering. How is this possible? I clicked on the entry and this is what I got. Guess what. It's 2515 El Camino Real all right, but it's in Palo Alto! Yes, three towns away. How do they get this wrong?

This sure looks like a Yelp page, but if you go to Yelp, they have it in the right place, as you would expect. Apple is making them look like garbage.

Here's one in a similar vein:

JITB where???

No, no, no! There is no Jack in the Box there in Santa Clara. There are two on El Camino, yes, but one of them is down by Nobili and the other is over by Lafayette. That particular spot is actually La Paloma, a real sit-down Mexican restaurant.

What happened there? Oh, that's easy. Look:

JITB where???

Just like with the Olive Garden, they took a Palo Alto address and transplanted it down here. Do they have toxic waste in the drinking water at Apple Maps HQ?

Moving on...

Big Siky Trl

Big Siky Trail? Try "Big Sky Trail". Are they doing manual data entry?

Domnino's Pizza

"Domn it! I used Apple Maps again!"

Caltrain where?

They think the Caltrain station is way out there for some reason. See that thin line running along Central? Those are the tracks. You'd think the station would be, you know, on the railroad tracks?

They even manage to second-guess themselves. Check out what you see when you scroll the view just a touch up and to the left:

Caltrain here!

Yep, a second icon, about where it should be.

Bed Bath and Roadway

This one is comparatively minor but it's still weird. The store is set way back. They got the Best Buy icon more or less correct. Chipotle, however, is much closer to Charleston.


Is there anyone who doesn't know "1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy" for That Place? There's only one center of the darkness, and they missed it.

Chase the bank across the street

Chase is that big building facing into the intersection. It has a lot of unusual adornments which might make you think it's a museum at first glance. They put it in the wrong block.

Chase the bank across the street

The Pruneyard in Campbell is a big, busy, crowded place. They would have you believe Outback is way up there right next to Bascom. It's not. It's actually on a separate pad site way around the corner, practically not even in the shopping center any more. You'd be searching for the restaurant for a very long time if you relied on this map.

Notice how far out I had to zoom to fit both the icon and the actual building on the same page. See those little specks? Those are cars. You can figure out the scale from that.

Chase the bank across the street

Say hello to the "Normandy" area. There's a gas station or two, a Burger King, a bar, a donut joint, a bunch of apartments, and even some kind of school uniform place, but a whole university? No. SJSU has a massive footprint in downtown San Jose, as you would expect. It isn't on the SJ-SC border.

I can take a guess at what happened. They apparently have a "1 Washington Square" address... in San Jose. The address shown on this map would be approximately "1 Washington Street"... in Santa Clara. Yes, it turns into Bascom Ave when you cross into San Jose.


Una Mas

You'd better search "one more" time, since there's no restaurant here. This seems to be a spot used by the people who make SJC security nervous when they shoot videos of planes coming and going. I suspect this is actually inside the terminal and it picked up a really bad placement courtesy of an "Airport Blvd" address.

Unless you're looking for worms or bugs, don't go here for food.

DMV? Nope.

There's no DMV in Milpitas. From what I can tell, there never has been one. This address apparently got tangled up with one of those scuzzball web sites which puts up a bunch of plausible-looking content to drag people in and get their eyeballs for ad impressions. How it graduated from that to an actual full-on DMV blip on the map is anyone's guess.

One amusing thing: searching for this address on various search engines occasionally turns up things about "RMV" registration. RMV? That's Massachusetts! Hello, the other side of the country called, and they want their office back.

That's the bottom of my stack of snark... for now. If they keep using these horrible data sources, I'm sure I'll find more in the future.

May 12, 2013: This post has an update.