New Canadian Map Data in Google Maps Fixes Old Mistakes, Creates New Ones

Google Maps is using new map data in Canada, abandoning the Tele Atlas data with which I had so many problems in September 2008. According to Google, “In Canada, we’ve made use of data from organizations such as the National Hydrography Network and Canadian Council on Geomatics. Once again things like satellite imagery and Street View were also helpful to make a rich, thorough base map.”

At first glance, the data is an improvement; there’s more detail (albeit patchy: forest coverage seems a county-by-county affair) and the street data is more up to date. And it does fix the errors I pointed out in 2008.

But if it fixes some errors, it also creates a bunch of new ones. Investigating my own town, I spot driveways, dirt paths and a bicycle trail (!) that are now coded as streets. County-level and secondary roads in Ontario are given trunk-highway symbols across the province. GPS Review notices that “the purple areas depicting StreetView coverage are still aligned with the TeleAtlas data, so you can see areas where the two datasets don’t match very well— it is somewhat amusing to see.”

Fortunately, the Canadian maps get that “Report a Problem” link for submitting corrections map data that U.S. maps acquired when Google started using its own own map data there (there was one before in my area, but I think it might have been just for Street View). With any luck (and a few thousand iterations), things may get better.

Previously: Google Switches to Tele Atlas, Errors Proliferate.