Wednesday, October 10, 2018

If a Road Opens in the Forest, but Google Says It's Closed...

Mariposa roads are now open on Google Maps
The economy of Mariposa (pop. 2000) depends on tourists stopping by on the way to Yosemite National Park. After fires and floods closed not only Mariposa but also Yosemite, just as tourist dollars have started flowing again, yet another problem has surfaced:
Google Maps. The popular navigation app is regularly showing that roads to and from Mariposa are closed, when really they’re not, making it appear as though the region is still gripped by disaster.

At least four such errors have occurred in the past two months, according to numerous reports from residents. Efforts by retailers, county leaders and even the National Park Service to prevent the misinformation have been unsuccessful, meaning only more lulls in tourist traffic — and an emerging sense in the community that a small town is of little concern to big tech
. Sad observation from a Mariposa businessman:
“It’s not like people say they don’t believe you when you tell them the road is open,” Shaw said, recalling countless back-and-forth with potential guests. “But they’re essentially saying Google is more believable than you are.”

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