Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Wrong Way

Last Sunday, we had to attend a birthday party at Pump It Up in Pleasanton and as is our usual custom whenever we go to that area, we decided to first stop at the Shiva-Vishnu Temple in Livermore. As usual, I looked up directions from the temple to Pump It Up on Yahoo Maps (you can try this too since its very repeatable). The first few lines read

Start at 1232 Arrowhead Ave, Livermore
Turn left on South Ln
Turn right on N Vasco Rd.
Take ramp onto I-580

Having never seen a South Lane in the vicinity of the temple on all my trips to it so far, I got a little suspicious and zoomed in to the starting area on the map. This is what I got...

So Yahoo Maps is asking me to cut across fields or houses or whatever is in those blocks of land between the roads, to reach Vasco Road and then cut across some more land to reach the freeway. Guess they still have a few kinks to work out in their Maps program. Meanwhile, I guess I'll stick to Mapquest from here on(I've had a bad experience on Google Maps too when I got directions from my hotel to SeaWorld during our trip to Texas a few years ago).


At 9:08 PM, Blogger Srivatsan Sridharan said...

so if yahoo maps asks you to cut through fields that too in US, imagine India. I heard there was a plan to bring this to India too, It would be a sure failure!, considering the fact that our guys change street/area names frequently.

Whatever you type in as landmark, say near Pillayar koil. Next question is Which pillayar koil :))))

At 9:24 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I almost missed my US citizenship interview thanks to gmaps!! was lost in downtown san jose! was literally facing a wall after following the directions. had to pull over, get the "kings" paper street map and then go find the INS office!

they all have kinks to iron out.

At 10:33 PM, Blogger Raju said...

Idhu nijamavey too much... During my very first driving on a freeway, I relied on gmaps, it asked me to take a right ramp after exiting even though the map showed to take left turn. Due to that confusion, I got all tensed since it was the closing time for a restaurant I was driving to (on my birthday)!! Rest can be read here.

I am gonna follow mapquest too, from now on, after reading ur exp..

At 10:50 PM, Blogger narayanan said...

I tried the link you gave. The Directions still ask you to turn left to a non-existent South Lane :-/. But the map asks you to turn on Scenic Ave however. I tried mapquest and google maps as well. Yahoo is the only one getting maps from Teleatlas as well and they use a 2006 version of NAVteq whereas the others use a 2007 version of it (see bottom right corner of map).

I think to an extent, maps dont help you always. I remember finding a hotel in Downers Grove, IL. The street address mentioned a road, on which had no sign of . We then enquired a gas station to finally find the place. The funny part is we struggled again finding the way (almost went round and round the place about an hour) in the night. Finally a cop almost escorted our way to the hotel. So some traditional, ask for help works (atleast for aaL nadamattam uLLa locations). I dont think anyone got lost in freeways (maybe missed an exit).

most of the directions also depend on the signboards (both street as well as house numbers). namma oorla poster adiche paadhi signboard theriyardhilla. idhula enna accurate'a mapping pottu enna prayojanam. If you get a chance, check Mapmyindia, pretty good effort IMO.

At 11:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ha ha! good story! once when I was driving from Michigan to New York, my buddy and I followed the directions from one of these websites so blindly without realizing that one of the interstates was in fact an intercountry! yeah, we had to go thro' canada...adha andha point-ku porchey thaan enge sitrarivukku ettichu! of course, this was a long time ago (I say that lest u guys think I'm terribly dumb, which I am but I'll wait for the future wife to come here to post that stuff!)

At 4:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said... should try this:

--Go to

--Click on Maps.

--Click on get Directions.

--From New York, New York

--To Paris, France.

--And read line # 23

At 4:58 AM, Blogger Ganesh said...

You were saying that '300' is breaking box-office records etc.Did you see the film?See it fast man!

At 8:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi bbthots readers...why does s.ganesh kumar always speak out of the way...look at his comment..does his comment have anything to do with this post by bb?

At 8:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bb.. You don't have GPS Navigation in ur car.. Nowadays it cost very cheap..

At 8:43 AM, Blogger Vee Cee said...

for a minute, i thought that, since directions to the Shiva-Vishnu temple would be used only by desis and that the whole yahoo maps thingy is probably outsourced to India, this route makes sense.
but then i realised that, if that were the case, the directions would say, just keep going on Arrowhead lane until you reach I-580. :)

At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think s.ganesh kumar followed those yahoo directions and landed here :-)


At 11:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I use google earth to get directions. It's much easier as you can see the actual road witht he buildings and everything. it's ruined me so much that i can't use the regular maps anymore lol

At 11:45 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

guess everybody has had some bad experiences with the map programs! i did forget to mention that mapquest gave the right directions for the above example :)

At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon, Google maps directions from NY to Paris was too hilarious. LOL

At 11:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, everybody seems to have a map story to tell. I remember when me and my boy friend drove from virginia to columbus, ohio. We had no problems in reaching Columbus but had a tough time finding our hotel. YMaps asked us to turn right but the hotel was to our left. We ended up searching for an hour within a 3-mile radius of our hotel's actual location.

I sure do miss namma india where we can just stop at a tea kadai and get pretty accurate directions.


At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi BB,

I have had a very bad experience with mapquest, i think we cannot rely fully on any of those tools...


At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to use Yahoo, Google, and MQ. Last month when we went to Texas, I rented a GPS device and will never ever use Y, G or M for maps. I came back from the trip and got a GPS for $299 with no monthly cost. Seriously it is really great. We travelled to various cities and not a single time we got lost. I ate at one restaurant and wife ate at another...we can pick and hit GO.


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