Getting Lost with Google Maps

This has been bugging me since the day it launched: the street labels when viewing Manila in Google maps is way off the mark. I wonder if Google is aware of this  bug? Paging Miss Aileen Apolo, can you bubble this up to those concerned? It's really running the otherwise good user experience of using the Hybrid view in Maps.

View Larger Map

To get this view, Go to Google Maps, locate Manila, then click Satellite. Make sure you check the "show labels" check box.


  1. Problems with Google products make me go "aaaawwwww"...

  2. It's all about data resolution both in the vector (street line map which is the basis of the street name labels) and in the raster (satellite or aerial photography images) type of data. Nothing that this Google app can be blamed for (I don't work for Google, though I wish I did), and there's probably nothing Google can do about it.

    So stop complaining and don't loose sleep over it ;-)

  3. Haha. I know you worked on a GIS before (tama ba?) so I'll take your word for it, but not on the last point. hehe. US Maps are working fine, so I guess they can do something about it. Naalala ko lang to bigla when I was trying to tag some photos.

    Nik, awwww indeed. ;)

    notebooks, spammer. >:( (yeah, I had to reply to him too.)

  4. US Maps are working fine because US Maps are good. They can make it good because people are buying them. People are buying them because they are cheap. It is the economies of scale working for them: there are plenty of demands for these maps (street maps, specifically) There maps work because they can use regular mathematics on them to make them useful in their devices or software. Regular math, like: if a house on one end of the street is #10 and the other end is #18, then house #14 must sit right in the middle of that street from end to end. Philippine address uses wormhole-like equations so, interpolation is unearthly complex if at all possible! This makes our street maps pretty much useless without people actually plotting those addresses on the map (it's a very costly process, believe me ;) Ergo, minimal demand for the data product.

  5. Ah now I get it. Just a thought though...

    "This makes our street maps pretty much useless without people actually plotting those addresses on the map (it's a very costly process, believe me ;)"

    This sounds like a problem that COULD somehow be addressed a-la wikipedia way. If only more pinoys are involved in more productive internet activities...

  6. Hey, Mark, thanks for visiting my blog. I actually did a slightly more thorough analysis about Google Maps' Philippine roads (as well as MSN Live Maps', and Yahoo! Maps') on a post in my blog. Short summary: they all rely on third-party data providers that are not Filipino, hence the inaccuracy of the data.

  7. And thinks for visiting mine (hope you're following your comments somehow). Thanks for sharing the openstreemap thing. I started looking at how things work and might start tagging some streets near our apartment this coming weekend.


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