Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Hast Du etwas Zeit für mich?

This has been perplexing me for a while so I thought I'd throw it out into blog-osphere to see if anyone had an answer or an explanation.

Why oh why, or should I say, warum ach warum, do Google Maps refer to White City as White Stadt?

Aside from the obvious inaccuracy and confusion, it puzzles me as a cunning linguist (ahem) why Google didn't just go the full hog and call it "Weisse Stadt"?

When you zoom in any reference to "White Stadt" disappears, but it has been like this for months and has already generated much internet discussion, yet no amending or explanation from Google. Furthermore, White Stadt ist nicht allein. Apparently Google's maps of London also refer to a "Pont Waterloo" and "Autoroute Britannique M25".

Answers on a postcard to Bird in the Bush, Her Nest, Up on her viewing Perch, in die Nähe von White Stadt, Shepherd's Bush

Dankeschön x


  1. If estate agents can make up place names (Brackenbury Village), why can't Google or anyone else?

  2. Google can collect info from users on the my maps feature, and has been putting that info up on its real maps. The interesting thing is if you search white stadt it gives you that same point. So somewhere in their matrix the actual word is being fed into the resutls too. They are also trying hard to seperate the languages but as yet have been unable to. So essencially the same algorythms are used in UK as French etc... just tweeked slightly. Essencially the system accepts all languages into each different language's results. There are many glitches like this all over the place especially. This is just my humble opinion but to tell the truth I doubt anyone really knows exactly not even google. There are too many different apps and algos interacting and even those who set the algorythms are undsure what they will produce and have to review the results later.

    I could go on all day but I think its best I stop there.

  3. Both valid comments - thank you!

    If I'm honest I actually like it! It's bizarre and inexplicable, kinda like the Bush...

    Wildman - was fairly confident it was a algorhythm-ting and of course not intentional... (oh and after I pick your brains about the Bush I will have to hook you up with NewMan who's a total Algo-whore too)

    Bird x

  4. More to the point, why the hell is Shepherd's Bush shown on Du Cane Rd FFS?

    Should be on the green!


  5. I sort of like this too - I like the idea that so many Germans were searching for our corner of the world
    And yes it's bizarre and inexplicableness is cool and made me smile - so thanks for posting!

  6. I have no idea why google is going bonkers, but I do love the Nena reference. "... Dann singe ich ein Lied für Dich..." :-)

  7. Question for you BB, have you made an account google's hot pot http://www.google.com/hotpot. There is a scary amount of shops etc identified. All people with accounts here can link together to view their reviews.