The Golden Ears Bridge across the Fraser River in British Columbia has been in operation for 9 months now. It was being constructed for almost two years before that. Unfortunately it has been invisible in Google Maps until now. Many have commented on the invisibility of the Golden Ears Bridge, which is a major landmark. Although repeated messages have been sent to places where Googlers congregate such as the Google Maps Forum, the organization seemed blind. As usual, they seemed to be relying on computer-generated data rather than inputs from humans.
It was said that the reason for the delay was that the Golden Ears Bridge had not been included in the database used by Google Maps. One of these is maintained by TeleAtlas. However the Bridge was added to the database as of March 31, 2010 and still there was no change. MapQuest, the Google Maps competitor, was not asleep at the wheel and almost immediately included the Golden Ears Bridge in its directions information.
It was only this morning that finally Google has registered the Golden Ears Bridge in its database. Use Google Maps to help you find the way across the Fraser River from Langley to Pitt Meadows and here is the route that Google will provide.
It was good to finally see the Bridge taking up the important role it now has in Fraser Valley transportation. However in a somewhat ironic announcement, Google later in the morning announced that it was now Keeping Canada’s map current.
The map of Canada is constantly changing – new roads are being built, highways are being renamed, and bike trails are opening. To keep up with all these changes, we’ve started using new map data in Canada. This new base map is built from a wide range of sources, just as we recently announced for the US in October. In Canada, we’ve made use of data from organizations such as the National Hydrography Network and Canadian Council on Geomatics. Once again things like satellite imagery and Street View were also helpful to make a rich, thorough base map.
That’s all very well. However if only they had worked more promptly in synchronizing with their existing map database contributors such as TeleAtlas, perhaps the Golden Ears Bridge would have been on our screens at least a month earlier.