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  #1  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2009, 3:26 AM
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Google Maps & Waterloo

I'm sure those of you who use Google Maps frequently have noticed this change within the past few months, and it really bugs me. All of the main, arterial roads in Waterloo on Google Maps appear as if they are a secondary/side street! What I am referring to is that Google uses orange to denote a freeway, yellow to denote an arterial road, and white for side streets. And...it seems that in Waterloo Region on Google Maps, anything north of Erb Street is assumed to be a "side street". What's up with this? I've also noticed that Google has labeled Alexandria Ave in the Uptown/Westmount area as an arterial! So, is Google saying that Alexandria Ave is busier and more of a primary road than say, Northfield, University, Columbia or Fischer-Hallman? Come on, give me a break! Even King Street in Waterloo is labeled as a side road.

Is there anything we can do to have this corrected?


Like, just look at how ridiculous this looks in Comparison to the rest of Waterloo Region's road network on Google:

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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2009, 3:29 AM
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Google recently switched from NavTeq data to TeleAtlas; perhaps try reporting it on the TeleAtlas site

http://www.teleatlas.com/ForConsumer...back/index.htm
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  #3  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2009, 12:54 AM
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Yeah, that is pretty stupid.
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Old Posted Jan 26, 2009, 2:31 AM
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That's weird, but I'm not losing any sleep over it.
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Old Posted Jan 26, 2009, 2:51 AM
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Before, the data had trouble defining previous 5 way intersections that had been converted to 4 way intersections 20 years ago as still being 5 way intersections. For example, going toward waterloo, the directions would tell you to turn right on Breithaupt and then make an immediate left on Moore. I have been in the car many times where the driver has made the two right turns and then freaked out because they took the wrong direction that the GPS said.

Albiet, The complete lack of accuracy in arterial roads in this map data is clearly worse.
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  #6  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2009, 1:15 AM
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So it looks as if things for Waterloo on Google Maps went from bad to worse:


What now? In addition to no major roads, does Waterloo now not have any distinct neighbourhoods other than Erbsville deserving of a label? (but this feature was most prominently added to Kitchener a few weeks ago)





That does it. I have now officially boycotted Google Maps, and strictly use Microsoft's Live Maps. At least Live Maps acknowledges that Waterloo has main roads .




I have found multiple errors on Google Maps for Waterloo and absolutely none on Live Maps. Plus, for places like the GTA, and other urban areas of Southwestern Ontario like Brantford, Live Maps has more up to date aerial imagery (by 1 year). Here is just one of the many mistakes I have noticed on Google Maps. I sent an error request to Tele Atlas, and for the past month, the status on my error report has been, "Our automated processes have determined that there is sufficient information in your report for us to examine and work the issue.". This is pathetic. Google should be ashamed and embarrassed for having such shoddy and out of touch map data for Waterloo, especially when they have chosen to locate offices in this City. It's a shame, because Google Maps is really user friendly - as we have all seen from Dunkalunk's maps for transit, it's a really useful tool.


"Millenium Blvd Ave"??? (along with University Ave and Northfield Dr shown as minor roads)
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Old Posted Mar 17, 2009, 1:27 AM
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It isn't Google's fault. It is the fault of whoever supplied the data, in the case of KW it's Maponics and Tele Atlas. From there, you go to wherever they got their data.

Probably:

http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/sites/english/maps/topo/map

Map sheet 40P07.

Also note that the names of places in Google Maps aren't just arbitrarily added to the map by people, they're from the data they used to create the map. Only communities that were once named separately on topographic surveys will appear on that map. Thunder Bay only has two named neighbourhoods on Google Maps, and many "villages" in the country that are named don't actually exist. (They represent water stations for the steam railways!!!! Along lines that haven't existed for 90 years!) All maps are going to have errors and all map data is going to have little features, like non-existent crescent streets, to detect copyright infringement.

Google Maps reverted to old data a while ago, based on the national surveys from the 1970s and 1980s. I don't know why. It isn't unique to Waterloo.

As for arterial roads, the city designates those based on traffic data and what they define as arterial, secondary arterial and collector roads is going to be different from what shows up on these maps. I don't know how mass produced maps determine what roads are arterials and what roads aren't, but I can tell you that on almost every map I've ever seen, Thunder Bay's third busiest street is labelled as a side street, and was before the data changed on Google. They're not "picking on you".
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  #8  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2009, 1:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vid View Post
It isn't Google's fault. It is the fault of whoever supplied the data, in the case of KW it's Maponics and Tele Atlas. From there, you go to wherever they got their data.

Probably:

http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/sites/english/maps/topo/map

Map sheet 40P07.

Also note that the names of places in Google Maps aren't just arbitrarily added to the map by people, they're from the data they used to create the map. Only communities that were once named separately on topographic surveys will appear on that map. Thunder Bay only has two named neighbourhoods on Google Maps, and many "villages" in the country that are named don't actually exist. (They represent water stations for the steam railways!!!! Along lines that haven't existed for 90 years!)
It most certainly is Google's fault. In 2008 when they received their data from NAVTEQ (where Live Maps currently gets their data from), Waterloo was all properly labeled. For some reason, Google decided to ditch NAVTEQ for Tele Atlas a few months ago. Stupid move on their behalf as Tele Atlas hasn't done as good of a job of data collection. There are even multiple mistakes in Kitchener, such as entire neighbourhoods missing! (Huron Village). As they say, if it 'aint broken, don't fix it.

Second, Waterloo used to have distinct village names when they annexed land from Waterloo Township in the 60s and 70s. A couple villages were Lexington and Rummelhardt. Why aren't these labelled? Kitchener has many communities labeled that were simply crafted by developers for marketing purposes. Examples: Country Hills, Forest Heights...
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  #9  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2009, 5:39 PM
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The mapping companies that provide data to Google get there data about street names, neighbourhood names and street classification from the municipality. The City of Waterloo has provided data that is in a different format than how the City of Kitchener has formatted their information. Waterloo probably just provided street names and nothing else. The City of Kitchener probably provided a bit of overflow information which is why the information is consistent up to Erb Street.
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  #10  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2009, 3:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howl View Post
The mapping companies that provide data to Google get there data about street names, neighbourhood names and street classification from the municipality. The City of Waterloo has provided data that is in a different format than how the City of Kitchener has formatted their information. Waterloo probably just provided street names and nothing else. The City of Kitchener probably provided a bit of overflow information which is why the information is consistent up to Erb Street.
I don't think this is entirely true. If it is, then why would Alexandria Street be classified as a main road? Obviously who made that decision did not know what they were doing.

By the way, the requests I made back in February to TeleAtlas have still not been fixed. Some of the notable ones include:

- Wilfrid Laurier University is spelled as Wilfred (the worst mistake)
- Parkview Cemetery is labeled as "Waterloo Cemetery"
- Westmount Place Plaza is on both sides of Westmount Road.
- Various new subdivisions have not been added (such as Conservation Meadows)
- Grey Silo Golf Course is not labeled

...the list just goes on. I'm sorry, it's just pathetic - especially for Google Standards.
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  #11  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2009, 4:18 AM
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You'd think Google out of anyone would have it right--they have offices in Waterloo!!!
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  #12  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2009, 3:43 PM
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Yeah, but not Google Maps offices.... those are all down in Mountain View with a couple outposts...
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  #13  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2009, 2:41 AM
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Go to Google Maps. Search "London, ON" and explain to me how the name got translated into French.

Edit: It would appear they fixed the error, which is good because it was labeled as "Londres" for a good month and a bit.
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Old Posted Apr 19, 2009, 3:06 AM
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I think Google usually collects map information from many sources, their goal is to basically collect and catalogue as much information as possible. They are continually updating map data and adding more details, but it's uneven. On Hamilton and Ottawa's maps, they have transit information, with click-on schedules for individual bus stops on the map, and a transit trip planner. Toronto doesn't have it (yet). I haven't checked any other cities, but I'm sure someday they will all have that information available.
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  #15  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2009, 3:12 AM
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There is a transit layer for cities in Canada and europe that shows the layout of rapid transit networks which is really neat. You can still view it when zoomed out quite a bit, it gives you an idea of how well covered a city is by its rapid transit.
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Old Posted Apr 30, 2009, 2:53 AM
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Google Street View Car Spotted In Waterloo!

Google Street View Car Spotted in Waterloo!

My mom was telling me today that she spotted a Google Street View car drive down her street late this morning!

Now I know she's not all up on the whole Google Maps thing, but she was positive it was a Street View car. She sent me a text announcing it, and when I asked her if she was sure, she said: "Positive. There's not too many cars driving around with cameras mounted on a 5 ft. pole on their roof." She said she's seen them on the news and it looked exactly like the cars. It was apparently doing a good speed for a quiet residential crescent...

This is pretty exciting. I thought Google would do the larger cities first such as Toronto, then move on to the more mid sized ones. Hey, if Google does this, it might make up for their countless mistakes on their maps to the City of Waterloo...
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Old Posted Apr 30, 2009, 4:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke-Of-Waterloo View Post
Google Street View Car Spotted in Waterloo!
This is pretty exciting. I thought Google would do the larger cities first such as Toronto, then move on to the more mid sized ones. Hey, if Google does this, it might make up for their countless mistakes on their maps to the City of Waterloo...
They already have been active in larger cities to my knowledge for some time (past couple years). But due to privacy laws being different here then the US, they've had some issue, (not sure of the details). But, it makes sense with their Canadian office here that Waterloo would be on the list for when it ever does go public.
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  #18  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2009, 3:18 AM
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Last edited by waterloowarrior; Apr 30, 2009 at 4:30 AM.
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Old Posted Apr 30, 2009, 5:48 AM
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In all provinces but Ontario, it is illegal to take a picture of someone's face and publish it online without their consent, and that was the issue. It would have always been legal in Ontario, and with the current face and licence plate censoring technology on Streetview there is no legal impediment to it nationwide at this point, as far as I know. It was mostly opposition.
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Old Posted Apr 30, 2009, 4:18 PM
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Personally I'd be more excited about them doing cities I don't live in since I have a pretty good idea of what our streets look like...
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