Thursday, 27 June 2013

How To Stop Being Driven To Drink

One year into my move to Michigan and I'm still exploring my new neighbourhood. I was invited out for a drink and meal at The Honey Creek Inn which is in an area I'd not been to before so I was excited to go out and see new places and areas - and it says it's an English pub so I had to put that claim to the test.

Google maps told me it was about a 30 minute drive from where I live.
Seemed OK.

Got home after work, changed and then got the GPS ready - it seemed a straightforward drive but nice to have backup in case there were diversions or I missed a turnoff.

And this is where the problems began...

The GPS asked me to input a city name - but the pub was in a small village, Cannonsburg.
Entering this did not give any matches, the one offered was Cannon.
I tried using this but then trying to enter the road name gave no matches.

OK, it's on the outskirts of Grand Rapids, try using that as a city name.
Nope, no match when I entered the road name

OK, back to Google.
Enter 8025 Cannonsburg Road and voila, there's a nice pic of the road with the Inn on it and it says it's Belmont, MI
Enter Belmont as the city in the GPS, then enter the number and road name
Whooo, it finds it.
Except it cant find the number and offers me options of 7845 or 7923
Might be close enough to get me there but I dont want to end up at the wrong place

One last try.
Enter 8025 Cannonsburg Road NE in Google maps and this time it says it's in Rockford
Plug Rockford into the GPS then the number and road name...

So what lessons can I take from this?

If you have a website for your business to attract visitors then should you be testing that the address you provide will work in a GPS system?

Is it a bug in Google Maps that 8025 Cannonsburg Road  and 8025 Cannonsburg Road NE give a different city in the results? If you're testing maps are you trying out different variations on an address?

as for the Honey Creek Inn - wonderful drive out there, good food and a good beer selection.

- and the English Painters van was parked there when we arrived so it must be a good place.
( in joke for GR people )


Stephen Hill said...

What an interesting issue, Phil. I've just been checking this out against the data that we get via USPS. A bit of ZIP code disparity going on too :-)

Jordan Schaenzle said...

I have been frustrated by this same issues many times in the past. Now I just forego the GPS and hope I get lost in some place interesting (and with a good pub)!