Saturday, April 02, 2005

Does Google Feel TOO Lucky"?

Sting opened his USA tour in San Jose yesterday. We bought tickets months ago.

The SJSU Event Center is at: 209 South 7th Street, San Jose.

Type that in Google Maps and you get: 209 NORTH(!!!) 7th Street, San Jose.

I hadn't noticed the subtle change. I drove according to the directions (even entered the address off the printout into my vehicle's navigation system). No event center at 209 North... only slums :-(

Now type another street (e.g. 209 South 17th) or another number (e.g. 309 South 7th) and you get an OK address. My guess is that Google Maps believes there's no 209 S 7th and tries to be helpful by attempting to guess what I really meant. The alternative address should have been suggested ("Do you mean... ?") rather than automatically plugged in.

PS: Yahoo! Maps finds the place just right. MSN Maps and Street&Trips don't believe a 209 South 7th exist so they show the street (not at a specific number on the street).

Sometimes it's better not to feel too lucky.

There's a happy end: with a friend's help we eventually found the place in time!

Update (May '05):
Nissan is right (see comments below). Google did solve the bug, they now use a "did you mean..." approach.


Anonymous Yossi said...


The official address of all the facilities on the university that are not university offices (ATMs, for example) is that S 7th St address, even though that's not really where the school's at, nor the school's official address.

1:56 AM  
Anonymous Nissan said...

I don't know if Google Maps changes something, but when I typed the address: 209 South 7th Street, San Jose, CA,
I didn't get it, and instead I got "Did you mean:
209 N 7th St, San Jose, CA 95112".
this beaviour dosn't seem too unreasonable.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Daniel Dreymann said...

Nissan: they must have corrected the bug. I'm not suprised, one of my avid readers is a VP at Google...

8:47 PM  

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