Today the “Kane County Chronical” is running a story about a local resident who found that Fermi Lab is located in the wrong place on Google Maps. He is quoted as saying “I wondered what was going on, It just seemed very weird.” Wierd indeed, you see Google has chosen to use Tele Atlas as thier data provider of choice. This means that a European data provider is providing map data for the United States. This is just one example of how much Tele Atlas’s data stinks! So while Google Maps is free and cool it might not always get you where you want to go.
Here is the whole article:
BATAVIA – Fermilab is a high physics laboratory where scientists are trying to answer one of the biggest questions in the universe – how does the universe work?
Now officials at Fermilab are baffled by another mystery – why does Google Maps show Fermi National Accelerator Lab as being along Route 47 between McDonald and Burlington roads when its campus is located in Batavia, 15 miles east of that location?
St. Charles resident Chris Madsen came across this mystery recently. He uses Google Maps for a Web page he runs for the Kane County Audubon Society.
“I wondered what was going on,” Madsen said. “It just seemed very weird.”
Fermilab spokesman Kurt Riesselmann is also perplexed.
“The Department of Energy doesn’t own land out there,” Riesselmann said. “I don’t know what it is, whether it is farmland or something like that.”
The DOE owns Fermilab.
Riesselmann said Fermilab officials plan to contact Google.
“We will work with Google to solve this mystery,” Riesselmann said.
Fermilab, originally named the National Accelerator Laboratory, was commissioned by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, under a bill signed by President Lyndon Johnson on November 21, 1967. Fermilab’s 6,800-acre site originally was home to farmland, and to the village of Weston.
Following funding cutbacks, President Bush this summer signed legislation that provides $62.5 million for the Office of Science to ensure that Fermilab, Argonne and other scientific facilities are able to continue their research and retain staff.
As an aside when I check Google maps this morning it looks like Fermi is in the proper place now.