Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mystery of Argleton, the 'Google' town that only exists online

Mystery of Argleton, the 'Google' town that only exists online, article.

If I'd known about "trap streets" (phantom streets which map makers put in to detect copyright infringements), I'd probably have thought this was the case when I looked at Google maps close to where I live and saw six streets in a tiny area which I knew only to contain one street. Looking closer though, and to my amazement, the "streets" were real, only very small and old. Two were actually so old they are cobbled, one of those is like two meters across and right up against one building, and the other one is closed off by a fence and is overgrown, and none of them are longer than maybe thirty meters.

This is one of the "streets", the one in front, it's maybe twenty meters long and now used as a drive way for a car dealership.
As you can see, the one which it used to lead to is fenced off and overgrown.

And this is another "street". I guess things have changed since the invention of the car. So far as I can see, this one is not used for anything at all, it leads nowhere, and there are no doors in the building on that side! I think you could sqeeze a car down there, but it'd have to be a small one.

I looooove digital cameras, I just pocketed my tiny Canon compact and walked out, it cost me nothing to shoot these (and more) in high quality, and five minutes to put them on the web for the whole world to see. (OK, I'm sure these are not super-exciting to most of the world, but the principle holds. :-)

Ray found this:

Anyway, what can it be but simply somebody's prank.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Saturday, October 31, 2009   8 comments links to this post


At 1 Nov 2009, 02:27:00, Anonymous Chris S. said...

Talking about weird Google stuff: a while back me and a friend were trying to use Google maps to get directions to some place in Washington State. It wasn't too far away - perhaps 50 miles or so. Google told us to follow some road, and another road, and another, and then take a kayak and get off in Taiwan, and then another road etc. I'm not kidding. It came up right in the instructions to take a kayak to Taiwan. We laughed our heads off at the time but unfortunately I can't recall the place name we entered. It also told us our travel distance was some figure like 9770 miles!?!?!

At 1 Nov 2009, 04:17:00, Blogger Ray said...

I betcha the American Automobile Association folks wouldn't make those mistakes. Maybe Google ought to check with them.

At 1 Nov 2009, 14:06:00, Blogger Bruce said...

Remember: "The map is not the territory." - Alfred Korzybski

At 1 Nov 2009, 14:47:00, Blogger TC [Girl] said...

Eolake said...
"OK, I'm sure these are not super-exciting to most of the world, but the principle holds."

Actually, Eo...I'm GLAD that you finally posted pictures of these "streets". I can remember you blogging about them, before,, I can actually SEE them so...that is COOL!!

It's interesting how they would even have detected that cobble street, it's so "tucked away" near a fence line, (yeah?) and so narrow!! A computer must be generating maps from satellite images (ie: no HUMAN common "sensicle-ness" about their method) LOVE the cobble! Thanks for sharing the obscurities w/us, Eo. :-)

At 1 Nov 2009, 18:14:00, Blogger eolake said...

I am convinced that Google maps get their data from old maps, rather than pictures.

For one thing, these "streets" really are invisible from, well anywhere. For another, they need to get the street names from somewhere.

At 2 Nov 2009, 12:59:00, Anonymous Anna said...

A friend of mine used to work in literature, and worked for dictionaries too. They put "trap words", words that don't exist, to detect fraudulent copying. She told me about one word they used in their dictionary that kind of doesn't exist. Then it was taken in another dictionary. Actually I really liked the word, it sounds very funny, I used it in a translation. When people read these stories, they sometimes come to me and tell me how rich my vocabulary is, that they have even learned words from my translation. And they come with that word. So now... the "trap word" does exist, isn't it ? It has become real. :-)

At 2 Nov 2009, 13:06:00, Blogger eolake said...

Haha. Cool.

Let's see if any of the trap streets become real too!

At 2 Nov 2009, 15:34:00, Anonymous Anna said...

>Haha. Cool.

>Let's see if any of the trap streets become real too!

If people start knowing about them...
using them...


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