I’ve heard that a company can get so big, it can "put you on the map," but Google is apparently SO massive, it can put whole villages on the map–even ones that don’t exist!
The UK’s Telegraph reports on the fictitious town Argleton that’s appearing in Google Maps. The town doesn’t actually exist, but because it’s in Google Maps, it’s causing a few headaches:
An internet search for the town now brings up a series of home, job and dating listings for people and places "in Argleton", as well as websites which help people find its nearest chiropractor and even plan jogging or hiking routes through it. The businesses, people and services listed are real, but are actually based elsewhere in the same postcode area.
There’s speculation that Argleton is nothing more than a "trap street"–often inserted into maps to catch people violating the map owner’s copyright. I’m not so sure. Google’s quite happy to encourage the use of its maps in all manner of mashups, so I suspect that it’s more likely to be a mistake than a "gotcha."
That appears to be the case–at least according to the official response from Google:
"While the vast majority of this information is correct there are occasional errors. We’re constantly working to improve the quality and accuracy of the information available in Google Maps and appreciate our users’ feedback in helping us do so. People can report an issue to the data provider directly and this will be updated at a later date."
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to see if Google Maps can help me find Narnia, the land of the unicorns, and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.