Google Maps' Fake Android Park Isn't The Only Hilarious Mistake Eagle-Eyed Users Have Caught
Thanks to one eagle-eyed user, Google techs last month were able to quickly take down what appeared to be a park in the shape of an Android robot peeing on an Apple logo before too many people took notice. The tragically hilarious fake park was first discovered by a Pakistan-based former Samsung employee who was searching for a location in Rawalpindi and stumbled on the illustration instead. Of course, the park wasn't real. But the embarrassing prank was enough to tip Google over the edge and force it to close its "Map Maker" tool to the public on Monday. And even with the app's history of unfortunate satellite captures and bizarre imaging glitches, this one was probably one of the more creative.
The Android park initially sparked a wide-scale review of the company's Map Maker approval process in April, forcing Maps employees to manually review each submission, which come from a group of "vetted users" and have in the past helped to flesh out otherwise incorrect or sparse virtual regions with local information, reported CNN Money. Google Maps team member Pavithra Kanakarajan told the website on Monday that the closure was largely due to the inability of the team to keep up with the vast numbers of submissions.
"Every edit you make is essentially going to a backlog that is growing very fast," said Kanakarajan. "It is not fair to any of our users to let them continue to spend time editing." She admitted that the Android glitch likely came from a reliably strong user without prior incidents, which could have been why no one on the team caught it sooner.
Aside from its powerful search engine capabilities, Google itself is a fairly playful giant, playing along with users by providing so-called "Easter egg" surprises and creative interactive headers on a regular basis. Type in "askew," for example, and the return search results come up jumbled and crooked. Look up "Atari Breakout" under Google Images and you'll be able to play a keyboard-based version of the classic video game.
But with the advent and explosion of the social media age, Google's unintended errors have also attracted something of a cult following, with watchdogs and casual users keeping an eye out for comical glitches and accidental run-ins with Google Streetview cameras like...
This Baby Shopping At Gucci, Alone
Seriously, where are its parents? Babies should definitely not be trusted with credit cards.
These Creepy Pigeon People
According to Mashable, Reddit users claim that this so-called "pigeon role-playing" is big in Japan. This particular group apparently waited until they spotted the Google Streetview car and struck this weirdly unsettling family photo.
This Angel Ascending To Heaven (Or Is It?)
This one has been hotly debated, and if you type "47.110579, 9.227568" into Google Maps and click on the street view, it's still there. So what is it? The error is probably just a glitch in the imaging systems, but paranormal fans can dream.
This Man Who Had A Very Rough Night
No one really knows why this naked man is in the trunk of his car, or why his dog's backside is missing, but he probably has a good explanation for it. Probably.
This Robot Giraffe In Disguise
Google had better have a solid explanation for this one, or it's time to call in Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.
These Creepy "Mummies" In A Dumpster
According to locals, these are actually just old clothing store dummies in Chile. Someone really needs to get these guys a bigger dumpster.
This Horse-Man Enjoying A Nice Horse-Breakfast With His Flamingos
The birds are chirping, the sun is out, and there's free hay in the neighbor's yard. What a beautiful morning.
This Uncomfortable Interchange Between Rivals
You're working hard, scouting out people waking up naked in their yards, when who decides to show up? Bing. Always trying to ruin your fun.
Creative Nicaragua Borders!
According to Wired UK, Nicaraguan troops got themselves into some pretty hot water in November 2010 for accidentally invading Costa Rica and putting down their flags in the country after Google Maps labeled the borders incorrectly. Google later admitted its error — which had drawn the border some 2.7 kilometers off — and apologized for the disgrace.
"Cartography is a complex undertaking, and borders are always changing," said Google's geopolicy analyst Charlie Hale in an interview with the magazine. Costa Rican officials were upset nonetheless.
"Costa Rica is seeing its dignity smeared and there is a sense of great national urgency," lamented then-President Laura Chinchilla in a statement. At least no one drew a giant robot peeing on your country, Madam President. You dodged a bullet on that one.
Images: Google Maps; Google Streetview