Anyone who spends a lot of time looking for addresses knows that the GPS systems and various online mapping softwares have errors and omissions. Newer neighborhoods, even those 3 or 4 years old, often don’t appear in GPS systems. Google Maps often doesn’t have these addresses either. Or my favorite, the GPS systems show streets that don’t exists such as the one a block away from me which would send a driver right through someone’s house because the GPS thinks the street connects through to the next block. As Austin Realtors, we encounter this anomolies much more often than the average person, and we know that most mapping systems, though generally reliable, are not 100% trustworthy.
My own home address is messed up. Granada Oaks was platted in the early 1980s, Then the eighties real estate bust happened, the subdivision went into foreclosure with the Resolution Trust Corporation, was eventually purchased by a single individual in the late 1980s, then purchased by a developer in 2005. My street was named “Sisquoc” in the original plat. The builder and developer thought “Sisquoc” was too hard to say and spell, so it was changed through formal process with Travis County to “San Lucas”.
The result of this is whenever someone is going to have to find our house, such as guests, a UPS driver, repairmen, etc., I have to go through a certain “how to find my house script” when providing the address. It goes something like this:
“The street name is San Lucas, and that’s what it says on the street sign, but if you’re going to using a GPS or mapping software, you have to use the street name ‘Sisquoc’ because that was the original name before it was changed to San Lucas, and none of the GPS or mapping software have the updated name”
What a hassle. I get tired of saying all this. So the other day, I decided to use the “Report a Problem” link at the bottom right of the Google Maps page. I clicked it and send the following message:
Dear Google Maps,
The street name “Sisquoc” was changed to “San Lucas” by Travis County. I live on San Lucas. It’s always hard for people to find us because the address doesn’t come up in GPS or map systems. Please let me know what info you’d need to verify the correct street name and I will assist if needed. The name change is recorded at Travis County.
Of course I assumed this would disappear into a black hole and result in nothing. After all, there are not actual humans at Google who read things and respond, are there? Are they not like a Borg Mother Ship? A collective hive of workers, but nobody specifically or individually there to respond to an email from a peon like like me about a bad map address? This was my assumption.
So I was much surprised to receive the following reply from Google in less than 48 hours.
Your Google Maps problem report has been reviewed, and you were right! We’ll update the map within a month and email you when you can see the change.
OK, so this causes a paradigm shift for me. The above message appears to have been written by a real human. It looks like they actually read my email. And they used my name in addressing me. And they agree with my problem and are going to fix it! I’m just not sure what to make of this, but I’m happy about it. Especially since I pay nothing to use Google Maps, nor do you.
So, if Google Maps shows a street running through your house, or your street is not on the map, or is spelled wrong, etc., go to Google Maps, navigate to the position in question, and then click the Report a Problem link at the bottom right of your screen. Perhaps your result will be similar to mine and people will someday be able to find your house using your address.