Google Maps slowly clearing non-real LA neighborhoods

sandford-map.jpgWe've written here quite a bit about the antiquated, or in some cases simply unsubstantiated, names that Google Maps insists on using for some areas of Los Angeles. Two of our favorites were Sanford for the piece of Koreatown around the old post office where Charles Bukowski worked (originally misspelled Sandford by Google) and Wahoo for a slice of the Valley. Dockweiler for the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Highland Avenue is also pretty kooky. Curbed LA has noticed some of the names going away, and got a reply today from Google about it.

In an email to Curbed today, a Google rep writes: "We're constantly working on ways to improve our maps with the most up-to-date information available, so the data on Google Maps is continuously being updated. Since this is a truly ongoing project, we're not able to share the exact changes that were made at a given time, but I can share that the map data comes from a wide range of sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau and commercial data providers. Neighborhood labels are often part of the data sets we get from the sources we work with to build the basemap, and in our effort to provide a rich and useful digital atlas for our users, we do our best to accurately reflect the information from those valued sources on Google Maps. As always, we encourage users to let us know when something is incorrect by using the 'Report a Problem' tool, found at the bottom right corner of the map."

All well and good, but Google maps will still direct you to Sanford, CA and to Wahoo, CA. So just for the heck of it, I re-ran our test from 2010 to see if Google Maps still thought the Louis Vuitton store in Century City was in Coldwater Canyon, and if Google would still give me the same directions from there to Wahoo, CA — since Wahoo sounded like, you know, a fun place.

Results below.

This time, Google had the right location for Louis Vuitton — actually in Century City. And it followed a logical route into the Valley to Wahoo. If only it were logical to send people to Wahoo, California in the first place.

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