So many of us rely on Google Maps to get where we're going, but Laurie Gneiding and Michael Brady would rather you didn't, especially if you're using its directions to get to Round Valley State Park. The couple is getting weary of eager boaters, campers and visitors turning up at their house, demanding entrance to the New Jersey state park — just because Google Maps told them that's where it is.
"It started with one or two people but last year dozens of people were coming up," Gneiding told The Star-Ledger. "This year, someone told us that the directions for Round Valley State Park on Google Maps led them to our driveway."
The couple has tried just about everything to deter traffic from coming their way, one of three log homes at the end of a quarter-mile long driveway at the back side of the park. They've put up "No Trespassing, Private Road" signs at the foot of the driveway and at other points along the homes' private entrance.
"Many people chose to ignore them and come up anyway," Gneiding said. And it's more than just ignoring the signs. Some park-goers have gotten downright hostile and heated over fact that the couple's house is not the park, and that understandably scares the couple.
"My biggest is coming home someday and having ‘visitors’ in my backyard pool or something happening to my dogs when they’re in their outside pen," she told the newspaper.
In mid-May, with summer about to start, one motorist told Gneiding where he'd gotten his errant directions: from Google Maps. Said the Star-Ledger:
If a Google Maps user enters the "Round Valley State Park" or "Round Valley Recreation Area," they’re directed to the proper park entrance on Route 629. Entering the actual address of the park, found on the park’s website, also brings drivers to the correct directions. But if they enter the "Round Valley Reservoir," they’re directed to Gneiding’s driveway.
Gneiding said she used the site's "report a problem" tool to ask for a correction. She said she got a response noting the error, saying that the directions would be fixed and she'd be notified when they were.
That was June 3, Gneiding says, and despite further emails to Google, she's heard nothing more.
Meanwhile, with summer in full swing, the onslaught of park-goers continue to trundle up that wrong driveway. For the busy July 4 weekend, Gneiding even put up a huge sign on the driveway entrance saying: "NOT Park Entrance... Private Driveway... Google Maps is wrong!"
Said the Star-Ledger:
While many mistaken visitors — like the one who pulled a trailered boat up the driveway on a Sunday morning at 6:45 — are polite and apologetic, others are not, she said. She told (website) Bamboozled tales of some who were angry, using foul language that makes recent comments about Gov. Chris Christie by Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) sound like they were coming from a Girl Scout.
Msnbc.com asked Google about the status of the fix.
"Our product team is aware of the needed correction and working to implement it," said a Google spokeswoman. "We're committed to providing the richest, most up-to-date and helpful maps possible by continuously integrating information from users as well as a variety of authoritative data partners. However, we recognize that there may be occasional inaccuracies and appreciate the feedback we get about how to improve our tools."
She added that Google says it can't:
... share specific details about the time it takes to update the map, as it often depends on the type of change and how extensive it might be ... We apologize for any frustration the directions error has caused, and as always, encourage users to communicate directly with us and let us know about any updates that need to be made to our maps by using the "Report a problem" tool on the bottom right corner of the map. We strive to review these requests and make appropriate changes as quickly as possible.
"We love being in the midst of nature," Gneiding told the newspaper, one of the reasons she and her husband chose the home. But they may love it more when civilization stops trying to barge in on their peace and quiet.
— Via Gawker
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