What’s wrong with this picture, an accurate looking, detailed snapshot of a Google Map of a perfectly charming neighborhood in Manhattan? Let me tell you. It isn’t accurate. The subway information is wrong. And how do I know this? Because I trusted it was correct and ended up whizzing right past Christopher Street on the 2 train and having to do the panic-stricken reverse local train ride of shame familiar to anyone who’s ever taken the subway in NYC.
Now I’m perfectly prepared to admit that I am often directionally and public transitly challenged. That is *precisely* why I still consult a map, eight years after moving to live here. But this is the second time this has happened to me in recent weeks. I had ended up being wildly, mortifyingly late to hear Jake Barton talk about his work on the National September 11 Memorial Museum. That time, again after consulting Google Maps, I took the N train to City Hall, only to end up chugging over the bridge into Brooklyn. And that time I thought I must have simply read the map wrong or that perhaps recent changes to the line had made things screwy.
But this latest incident sent me back to check. And sure enough, Google has the N train serving City Hall. The MTA does not.
Now, I know, I know. It’s a free service and it’s really amazing and Google Earth is fantastic and look, I can see the house I grew up in and I’m sure there’s some perfectly reasonable explanation for the error. But I am a picky, demanding, unforgiving 21st century type, and now I’m suspicious of Google Maps and I suspect that their accurate-seeming information is actually baloney. And as we all know, trust is the currency of the age and once it’s gone it’s ever so hard to win back. So, dear Google. Don’t make me frown at you and wonder if you mean what you say. Please fix your map and don’t make me late again.