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17 August, 2005

Looking in the wrong place

Google Maps has mislaid my home village!

Northop Hall, Sir Fflint, UK. ©Google

Here, the village of Northop Hall in North Wales (pop. ~2,000) comprises the small streets around the words 'Village Road'. The larger cluster of streets next to the words 'Northop Hall' simply aren't part of the village – that's the Wepre housing estate, on the edge of Connah's Quay. Wepre Lane, linking that estate and Northop Hall is indeed only a tiny lane with passing places and no pavement (US: sidewalk); few would imagine walking along it or consider it internal to the village. I've enhanced the colour of the accompanying image, to emphasis that Google displays two distinct built-up areas (where a single house qualifies as 'built-up'!), not one. Hence, it really is incorrect to characterise Wepre as part of Northop Hall.

This might seem trivial, but I'm protective of my roots!

Actually, now I look at other areas, Google Maps is pretty poor about labelling villages or areas within towns. In the Lancaster area, the hamlet of Caton Green is labelled 'Brookhouse', whilst Brookhouse is unmarked; it's implied it's part of Caton (pragmatically, that's true, but not literally). Similarly, the Fairfield/Abraham Heights/Marsh area of Lancaster itself is labelled 'Aldcliffe', really a hamlet some distance from the city.

This is unfortunate. The display technology is stunning, but if the map data can't be relied upon, what's the point?

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