What Is Going On with GOOGLE MAPS These Days?

What Is Going On with GOOGLE MAPS These Days?

I don't know about you, but have you noticed how wonky Google Maps has been lately? If you look subjectively at the process, it seems like there's some upgrading going on in the background of the app (And Waze, owned by Google... I'm sorry, I mean the renamed Google, called Alphabet Inc.) and I think the upgrades are related to what is being referred to as the new 'machine learning' technology.

At this point Google says the machine learning is bouncing it's information off the data being collected by the thousands of Google Cars that drive around with those bubble 360-degree cameras on top, then the AI takes the information from that imaging data to update itself. These cars manage to have snapped over 80 billion images so far.

As it is, machine learning works to censor out license plates and faces from the billions of images collected.

But this does nothing to explain exactly why Google Maps is f***ing up on me. And I presume others.

My examples for these f*** ups from Google Maps include some events that seem pretty silly:

Pulling up to a mall, Maps took me around the mall to enter it via a west side driveway, versus the other driveways I passed up while passing it on the east, then south sides.

Maps took me to a car parts store, whose entry driveway was off a main artery road on the south side of its lot. But Maps brought me up from behind it, on the west side of the lot where there is no driveway, forcing me, if I wanted to make a right turn, go a block away, then coming back via backstreets. Maps was VERY VERY confused.

There was a large traffic congestion issue on my route home, on the CA 152 (Pacheco Pass), where Maps indicated it was up to a two-hour delay. Yet everyone who came through the cluster f* said it took them over four hours.

Not sure if this is related, but when I sometimes look up movie theaters in Google search, it tells me that the nearest movie theater is 70 miles away, when I live two miles away from one. Wha???

As an Uber driver, I found that Maps always took me the long way over the shorter distance, where I presume it was most likely the 'faster' route. But tell that to the irrational Uber riders!

Maps can get truly confused on large college campuses, Stanford and within it's own campus in Mountain View, CA. Which you would think would be the last place it would get confused, considering most or all of it's programming parents come from there!

I won't even get into how things have been working with Waze, but needless to say, it's confusing me a bit, here and there too.


Overall, I still trust Maps and Waze because when something big is happening on my route, I will know about it and usually, I get properly re-directed around the issue. So I'm still a proponent of the app. But every now and then, I end up scratching my head.

Thankfully, the majority of the time I know where I'm going and recognize when Maps has been drinking the digital punch and sending me on a round about route.

As I like to joke, "Maps, don't tell me to turn right, then left and left when I can see my destination right in front of me!!!"

And hence, why, I suspect there's always a question at the end of my route, asking if I am satisfied about my trip... because the AI can't figure it all out without human intervention when all is said and done.

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