How Google Maps Thinks I Should Get to Staples

June 1, 2011 at 4:12 pm (By Amba)

WTF???

Advertisements

23 Comments

  1. Louise Mowder said,

    They don’t want you to get killed making making that left-hand turn onto Washington Square South. That West Village traffic is killer.

  2. amba12 said,

    Maybe I could pin the tail on the donkey while I’m at it?

  3. reader_iam said,

    Oh, hahahahaahahaahaha! That is hilarious (though, also, not). We’ve been extensively using Google maps recently to get to know different areas, determine distances and so forth. Now, I’m always reasonably skeptical about such things, but maybe I should become even more so.

    This is what it gave you for walking directions? Even if they’re driving directions, are the streets laid out as one would have to assume from these directions (i.e. strategic one-ways)?

    BTW, OT: Many years ago, I used to go up to the Blue Note from Delaware, and in addition stayed in the Washington Square area a few times. Weird to think that you were certainly in the neighborhood back then. Perhaps we even crossed in the street (like ships…).

  4. mockturtle said,

    Guess I’m just nuts but it looks OK to me! You’ve got four one-way streets. I’m assuming this is for driving there, not walking. Out here in the west we don’t walk to the store. Just doesn’t happen.

  5. PatHMV said,

    I’m confused, Annie. That looks like the shortest driving route to me, given the one-way streets indicated. Did you click the walking icon? If I enter for directions from 133 W. 4th St. to the Staples on Avenue of the Americas, and click on the Walking icon, it takes me directly to Avenue of the Americas and turn right, rather than following the one-way street. Is there something peculiar about the neighborhood streets, or New York streets in general, that make this a particularly bad route?

  6. Maxwell James said,

    It’s google. They just know you well enough to realize you’d want to hear some nice ambient jazz music and catch a bit of a basketball game on the way.

  7. amba12 said,

    No, guys, I’m kidding — of course it’s driving directions, and that’s how you’d have to do it because of the one-way streets. (I didn’t know there was a walking icon.) But, just as it would hardly occur to a mainlander to walk anywhere (Chapel Hill was so not designed for walking that there were bits of sidewalk, but they’d just suddenly peter out), it would hardly occur to a New Yorker to drive anywhere, especially anywhere within a mile.

    I like Maxwell’s answer though — it occurred to me that maybe they were trying to route you past some local businesses so you’d catch a whiff of coffee or a scrap of melody and be drawn in.

  8. amba12 said,

    reader — I lived right here from 1971 till 2006, so there’s more than a chance our paths could’ve crossed.

  9. reader_iam said,

    A cool thing I recently discovered was “Walk Score,” which rates areas and specific addresses as to–natch!–“walkability.” It includes lists of various destinations (food, restaurants, schools, entertainment, parks, pools, libraries, other shopping etc.) with how far they are to a particular place. This is exceptionally handy if you’re exploring places with which you’re not familiar, and is fabulous if you’re looking at neighborhood/real estate options. Sometimes modern technology redeems itself. ; )

  10. Icepick said,

    I like Maxwell’s answer though — it occurred to me that maybe they were trying to route you past some local businesses so you’d catch a whiff of coffee or a scrap of melody and be drawn in.

    There’s a new business opportunity for Google – businesses could pay them to direct people’s routes by their businesses. And if one doesn’t want the “advertized” routes, individuals could even pay for a premium service to avoid such nonsense. When their stock shoots up because of the billions they make off this idea, I want a cut.

  11. mockturtle said,

    ‘There’s a new business opportunity for Google – businesses could pay them to direct people’s routes by their businesses. And if one doesn’t want the “advertized” routes, individuals could even pay for a premium service to avoid such nonsense. When their stock shoots up because of the billions they make off this idea, I want a cut.’

    There’s already an online redirect malware that I once contracted a couple of years ago. When I did a Google search it would redirect my search to a business of some kind. It wasn’t easy to get rid of, either.

  12. Icepick said,

    I mean something to redirect actual traffic, as in foot-traffic or car-traffic, to take people along physical routes by a business. Actually Maxwell should get the cut from Google. It’s a Golden Ticket Idea!

  13. amba12 said,

    It really is. But you monetized it, so you two could share the revenues.

    Google could take BIG bucks to get people lost and going in circles, only to end up strategically at a warm, welcoming restaurant/motel when they are exhausted, hungry, and need to pee.

  14. Maxwell James said,

    Hmm. Google Toilets…

  15. amba12 said,

    Now that would be a service. Except that they’d get the locations wrong and cause accidents. And I don’t mean car accidents.

    Note that on that map of the Village they completely omit the more obvious southern, West 3rd Street entrance to the West 4th Street subway station, which is actually on that corner; and they place the northern entrance right on the corner of Washington Place, when the eastern entryway, at least, is in the middle of the block. Now imagine you really have to go and that’s a toilet.

    And they have been farther off than that. I’ve seen them completely misname streets. It’s like Wikipedia for fact checking: don’t do it.

    A niece of mine actually had a blog for a short while reviewing the restaurant and other public toilets of L.A.

  16. PatHMV said,

    I suppose that Google could program the system to default to walking directions when the two end points are within, say, a half mile of each other.

  17. amba12 said,

    What’s funny is that my first reaction really was “WTF???” I had defaulted right back to a New York state of mind. Why would you do anything but walk to a destination right around the corner??

  18. mockturtle said,

    Many of us live in places where ‘blocks’ are unheard of and even sidewalks are rare. The nearest store is 5-10 [or, from our last house, 38] miles away. I can’t think of one residential neighborhood in Seattle, for instance, where a store of any kind is within three miles [I am not saying there isn’t one–just saying I cant think of one]. Some ride bikes but hardly anyone walks. We were born with steering wheels in our hands [very painful for our mothers!]

  19. Icepick said,

    mockturtle brings up a good point. “Blocks” in Orlando vary greatly in size. My wife lived in Manhattan for a few months before ending up down here. She was appalled to find blocks up to a mile long. (I’m thinking of the block on the east side of John Young Parkway between Colonial and Princeton.) The idea of walking ten or 15 blocks almost anywhere down here is just crazy, man!

  20. karen said,

    Today i filled the gas tank of the truck(80.50$)& had to go to Johnson- 1/2+ hrs away- to get something called ~jute net~ that will hold the bank down from erosion while the grass grows– we bulldozed out back. THEN- i got home and realized the dude that sold me this stuff never gave me the staples to hold it down!! I was going to meet a guy that worked there in Eden– about twent mins away, since he had to go there anyway.

    One of my best friends went w/me for the ride(the 1st trip). She’s from NYC area– Rockland Co. Pissed?? I guess maybe, so she went back w/her car to get these staples– and gave them a ~quiet~ piece of mind about customer service. They made us wait for 25 mins while they finally figured out what kind of netting i needed and which shed it was in. It was probably my own fault for not getting the staples, but the guy sent me ~out back~ to get the jute and then across the road and i just plain forgot.

    When i got home, i had about 10 mins to eat a bit of cake(mmmmmmmmm)& then head out to Barton– 1/2 hr in the OPPOSITE direction, to pick up my girls from school.

    136 miles later– i was pretty tired, but still did chores:0).

    ps– amba, the shit hit the fan w/the in-laws. I’ll email you.

  21. amba12 said,

    Ay yi. Please do . . .

  22. karen said,

    I’ll just add that i think the nearest Staples is in Littleton NH– about 1hr20mins away– or in Burlington– 11/2 hrs away. Notice how i don’t know my way around in miles– only the time it takes to travel there:0).

    We have a really cool store in Newport called Pick and Shovel, though. It’s a Hardware store and has awesome clothes(Columbia, Woolrich) and everything else- even a pet store. No puppies– they’re at the animal shelter, but sometimes kittens. Lots of fish and rodents.

  23. mockturtle said,

    Karen, we have a similar hardware store here. Has just about everything including clothes–brands like Carhart. But, then, I’ve always preferred hardware stores to clothing stores. ;-) I don’t know how I ever bought clothes before internet shopping.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: