Friday 23 January 2009

When Google maps go bad

Prior to heading up to Berwick I had checked online to see where the hotel was, using Google maps.

The hotel, I knew, was on the outskirts of town, next to the large supermarket. And according to the map I looked at it was there, just the other side of the road from the Supermarket.

Now, technically, I should have double checked on the Travelodge website, or perhaps looked up the postcode before taking this for certain, but I was in a hurry, and it looked easy to find.

Come 7pm I walk past the supermarket and start looking for the hotel. Only there are a couple of problems. The first one being that the road it’s the other side of is the A1, the main North South road linking Edinburgh to London, and whilst nowhere near as busy as the four lane monstrosity that carves through North London, it was still two lanes wide, and quite fast.

Eventually, I managed to cross over, nearly killing myself in the process, walked to where the hotel should have been and found that instead it was a pub.

By now I was getting quite concerned. It was very dark, no lights except for the headlamps of oncoming vehicles, and a few stars. I started to retrace my steps heading back towards the supermarket, deciding that I would go to the supermarket and check there if they knew where the hotel was.

Then, as I was approaching the entrance to the supermarket I saw it, the hotel, clearly signed, sitting at the back of the supermarket car park, and when I later checked online, the location given by the third and fourth placed results.

Something makes me think that someone has a sick sense of humour and enjoys sending people to their deaths on the A1, that or its a cautionary warning not to take everything you see online as the truth!

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