Headline July 15, 2019/ '' 'ONLINE -GOOGLE MAPS- OUTRUN' ''


PROFESSOR MATTHEW ZOOK said that Google, hungry for data, often gets its place names from whatever map it can find, even if-

If  they are not strictly official, and end up giving that information more authority than its authors originally intended.

FOR THE ITALIAN city of Milan, Google appears to have largely drawn from a map created by  local blog Urbanfile, said its author Roberto Arsuffi, who explained that he has made up some of the place names.

Arsuffi said that he sometimes used little-known landmarks to describe small, unnamed areas when coming up with location labels for his map.

For example, he named the district of Acquabella after an old farmhouse and a nearby railway junction, both of which have since been demolished.

But on official maps Acquabella does not exist as a district with its own name - its territory is split between two larger districts.

Google Maps picked up Arsuffi's name a few weeks after the Urbanfile map was published about five years ago, Arsuffi explained.
Suddenly some Milanese found themselves living in unknown neighbourhoods.

''I've been here 10 years ago and I've never heard of it,'' said a local bar owner after being told that, according to Google, his property was within the boundaies of Acquabella.

Arsuffi  said he  had contacted Google to flag inaccuracies she  spotted online, but received no reply.

Google said it had not directly taken names from Urbanfile's map but that users had made those edits to its map through Map Maker a new defunct tool that allowed the public to make contributions to Google Maps.

PREVENTIVE STRIKE : With Map Maker out of service since 2017, map enthusiasts in Leeds,  England, have been testing other methods of preserving beloved place names perceived as being of risk of disappearing.

In 2018, upon hearing that a developer was planning to build new flats in the area known as Quarry Hill - once home to the largest social housing complex in Britain - and rename it SOYO, local writer Chris Nickson sent a complaint to the council.

''In a stroke, this erases centuries of Leeds history,'' he wrote in the letter, which he also posted on Twitter.

The appeal against the moniker SOYO, which stands for ''South Of York Road'', was taken up by Thomas Forth, head of data at the Open data Institute Leeds, a think tank.

He marked the area in central Leeds as Quarry Hill on OpenStreetMap, a Wikipedia-style mapping service, hoping it would be picked up Google and other online map providers.

''Changing a name could be seen as an extreme example of gentrification,'' Forth said in a phone interview. ''Especially if former or current residents feel that the names they use are not welcome anymore.''

A spokeswoman for SOYO said in email that the development will cover only part of Quarry Hill  and will regenerate the site, bringing new residential housing, as well as bars, restaurants and a hotel.

She said the company would work to update signage, reference points and online information with  new name as construction progressed, adding that the area had been a car park for more than 40 years after the council blocks were demolished.

''Our project marks the beginning of a new chapter for this part of the city,'' she said.

But for now, the chapter has no name at least on Google Maps.

With respectful dedication Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on Facebook, prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011 :

''' Maps & Puzzles '''

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