Residents of a quiet cul-de-sac in Australia have been left bemused and frustrated after hundreds of tourists appeared in their street looking for mountains.
Instead of finding the impressive views of the Blue Mountains, confused sight seers were instead met with a dead-end road lined with a few rural homes as a result of a Google Maps glitch. A flow of cars and coaches full of visitors have been streaming into Valley View Road in Dargan, New South Wales – 30km away from the actual desired tourist destination of Katoomba – after the online map placed the destination at the small street.
According to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald residents have been complaining about the problem since 2016 and after witnessing lost travellers appear “every few minutes” they had to erect a sign to clear matters up.
“Blue Mountains is not here (Google Maps is wrong) you need to go to Katoomba or Blackheath,” it read.
But the tourists kept coming in their droves and were quickly becoming a nuisance to the locals. Residents have described lost tourists unwilling to accept their sat nav is wrong and wandering through the grounds of their property in search of the Blue Mountains.
Locals also said buses full of people would actually knock on their doors to ask to use the toilet, or simply use the residents’ gardens. The unwanted arrivals are also becoming a danger as children who once were able to play in the street are at risk from the increased number of vehicles, while smokers unaware to the dangers of causing a bush fire litter the street with cigarette ends.
“Personally, because I have a health problem and have to rest a lot the noise is very disruptive, especially after years of living in a very quiet street”, resident Karen McLaughlin says.
McLaughlin, who ironically is a retired cartographer, is stunned that such a powerful company and mapping service can get things so wrong, and has contacted the technology giant on several occasions to fix the error.
“Google can have all their super technology, but if the data has millions of errors it is useless”
As of this week the problem of wayward tourists still persisted, however a Google spokesperson has said “mistakes do happen but they are rare” and has since corrected the mistake.
“The various types of data found in Google Maps come from a wide range of sources, including third-party providers, public sources, and user contributions”, the spokesperson told the SMH in a statement.
“Overall, this provides a very comprehensive and up-to-date map experience, but we recognise that there may be occasional inaccuracies that could arise from any of those sources”.
Ever since Google Maps was launched back in 2007 there have been multiple cases of odd occurrences and strange sightings on the online platform. Recently, a woman from the UK got the “surprise of her life” when she saw her deceased mother on Google Street View watering the plants of her old home after she was unknowingly snapped by the company’s vehicle while she was still alive.