Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Google Maps

Update III (4/26/11).-- Well, I have the NP boundary on the Google maps now, both the original one in 1899 and the latest, revised in the 1920's for the additional lands. I will be adding them to the individual maps over time as it's a cut and paste block of code starting with the updated maps and then the other maps.

Update II (4/19/11).-- Google has introduced Google Mapmaker to allow users to update, edit or correct maps, and upon review make the changes permanent to Google's map set. Well, I will try this after I try adding the NP boundary they refused (below) to add to their maps, despite it being just a closed point line dataset defining the boundary. If the that works, I'll look to add it permanently.

Update (4/7/11).--I found in Google's documentation for their maps a way to add (overlay) a line on a map. So, with some testing on one map, I add the NP boundary where they have decided it's not worth the effort. If it works, I'll replicate the code to all the map and the template.

Sometime last year Google replaced their maps provided from other sources with their own in-house mapping service. Except, while wanting to control the production and quality of their maps, they screwed up the quality for national parks. They have simply not added the political boundary defining the major national parks, Mt. Rainier NP among them, so you can't easily see where the NP ends and the surrounding Forest Service lands begin.

I reported this a short time after the change and only got an answer today, stating,

"We apologize. It appears you submitted a Google Maps problem a while ago, and we failed to update you. We've reviewed the problem and cannot confirm that a change is needed. If you still see a problem, please tell us more about the issue.

Thanks for your help,
The Google Maps team"

Well, that's a rather late, "Gee, I'm sorry but we don't really care." reply. Yes, I'm angry. Not just being a geographer, but more so for not improving the maps. The old one had the boundary to Mt. Rainier NP, and other NP's clearly marked, along with the surrounding lands, in this case the USFS different forest (Snoqualmie-Baker, Gifford, etc.) and wilderness areas around Mt. Rainier NP.

Apparently good customer service and improving their product isn't in their agenda? Well, I rely on Google's map, but now I'll explore to see if there is a better on-line interactive map available which is better and fits my maps, such as mapquest. I'll keep you posted if or when any change is made.

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