Hollywood Tourists Made Fools Of By Tweaking Google Maps
The Hollywood sign in Los Angeles is one sign that people can recognize better than any traffic sign, and even non-Americans are so good at it. Now when you have such a major sign to flaunt in the city, you are obviously going to find your roads, parks, cars, everything jam packed with overly eager tourists.
It’s all ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ for a few hours for the tourists, but ask the residents… The residents are so fed up of their lives being disrupted by frequent screams and fangirling, that they previously went as far as setting up signs across the roads, saying there is no way to go up to the Hollywood sign.
Since the signs didn’t stop the tourists from reaching the holy sign, residents resorted to removing the sign completely – from Google Maps.
Of course, Google wouldn’t allow that. But the locals and many non profit organizations have successfully convinced Google and Garmin to provide tourists with alternate routes to reach the Hollywood sign, away from the residential areas.
“Even though Google Maps clearly marks the actual location of the sign, something funny happens when you request driving directions from any place in the city. The directions lead you to Griffith Observatory, a beautiful 1920s building located one mountain east from the sign, then—in something I’ve never seen before, anywhere on Google Maps—a dashed gray line arcs from Griffith Observatory, over Mt. Lee, to the sign’s site. Walking directions show the same thing,” Gizmodo noted.
This change has been long requested by the Los Angeles City Council. As mentioned before, the trust had been semi-successful in removing the Hollywood sign’s address from Google, so it took a bit more political involvement to reach a mutual and better solution.
Garmin had changed their map in 2012. It provided the tourists with two alternate points of interest: Griffith Observatory or the sign-viewing platform over at the Hollywood & Highland center.
“So what’s happening in Hollywood is a disturbing peek into the future of digital cartography,” Gizmodo said. “A few dozen homeowners in one of the city’s wealthiest ZIP codes—who bought their homes knowing (I assume) about the letters hanging just outside their bedroom windows—have found a way to keep people out of their neighborhood by manipulating technology.”
The residents have become so paranoid about this though, that they have now come to threatening any blogger or article writer who has provided information regarding routes to the Hollywood sign.
So not only has Hollywood managed to waste our time and money multiple times, it has also managed to force companies to set digital walls around the landmark, lie to tourists about the topography of the area, and resorting to filing lawsuits on bloggers writing innocently about their city’s majestic landmark.