Google nearly killed my friend!

Categories: Technology

So I had a friend coming over to visit yesterday, and I had sent my address to her over email. Fortunately, I decided to go one step further and look up the driving directions for her using Google maps as well. Well, to my dismay, the directions given would have directed her down a one-way street. I know the area so I was able to catch this, but there is no way that my friend would’ve.

Having a lot of experience in this area, I know the difficulties – this is only one of many problems that services like this will have, which I spoke about it in an earlier post. The premise behind many of these services is that they are for people on the move and want to access local info. These services have a long way to go before being useful then. The Maps work fine for travelling large distances, where the constraints on routes are well defined and easily monitored – MapQuest has doing this for years – but when addressing local streets, serious problems arise. In Toronto for example, many of the rules for turning and driving change depending upon the day. For example, many of the intersections display signs preventing left turns during business hours. If driving directions fail to mention this, it immediately reduces the value of the service…


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