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Google Earth fail sends explorers to island that doesn't exist

22 Nov 2012

Google Earth logo

While Apple has been pilloried over the laughable state of its Maps application for the iPhone and iPad, Sneak has learned its not the only tech giant with map making headaches.

When a team of intrepid explorers from the University of Sydney set off into the South Pacific, heading towards French-governed New Caledonia, they had been expecting to come across Sandy Island, a strip of land depicted clearly on Google Earth. Imagine the teams surprise when they reached the right locations only to find the island not there, and instead there was just 1.4km of deep, blue ocean.

As it transpires, Sandy Island isn't some real life example of the mysterious moving island in the long-running incomprehensible TV drama Lost. Sandy Island never existed in the first place.

Google told the BBC that it consults a variety of authoritative sources when compiling its maps, so it's not like the search giant just made it up. Instead, like some inept schoolboy cartographer, Google made the mistake of copying its answers from the class dolt.

While Sneak has been among those complaining loudly at the mistakes in Apple's Maps, it only sent Sneak the wrong way to Luton – and not hundreds of miles into the deep blue yonder.

About IT Sneak's undercover reporter offers odds and ends from the odd end of technology.

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