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Google confuses Dublin with one of its parts

By Susan Falvella Garraty

Google announced last week that it's adding 200 jobs to its center in Dublin, but hopefully one of the new hires can fix a glaring error in the Google Map function.

Currently, Google shows Dublin, Ireland, as being in County Fingal. Well, everyone knows that Dublin is in County Dublin. There is an administrative delineation called Fingal, but Google hasn't been able to parse the difference.

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Complaints by users on the Google Map site have been made. Karlj in Ireland stated the obvious in the Google Map Help Forum. "Dublin is not in Co. Fingal."

"Google Maps reports Dublin city centre as being in County Fingal, however Co. Fingal is only one of the 4 administrative districts that make up Dublin, and excludes Dublin city centre. [Fingal County Council has administered the north of the county since 1994.] The correct entry should be "Dublin, Dublin City" or "Dublin, Ireland". There is no way to suggest this correction to Google that I can find and yet it means that Latitude, etc. are all wrong when referencing Dublin. Any advice?"

A user known as ClaireMcHugh posted her concerns and shares Karlj's geographic pain. "I also find Dublin, Co. Fingal a major annoyance. There is no such thing as Co. Fingal. It is an area within Co. Dublin. Given that your European Headquarters is also located in Dublin in the imaginary County Fingal, I really thought it might get highlighted as a mistake and resolved a bit quicker. I

will also petition Tele Atlas to sort this out, but I'm disheartened that it isn't being dealt with directly by Google."

Both complaints were answered by GmapperHF in the forum. GmapperHF asserts the problem stems from Google's outside provider of maps, Tele Atlas. "Tele Atlas is Google's map data provider for Ireland. You could report the issue directly to them at: It can take a very long time for Tele Atlas to process the request, update and release their data....and then have in synchronized over to Google Maps. Without requesting it from Tele Atlas, though, it will probably not get updated otherwise."

The mapping and GPS provider TomTom recently purchased Tele Atlas. Their spokeswoman located in Boston has a name that indicates she should understand the problem, and she agreed Dublin is in Co. Dublin, not Co. Fingal.

"Our current map database has Dublin appropriately associated with County (Dublin) and District (Dublin City)," wrote TomTom spokeswoman Erin Delaney in response to queries about the inaccuracy on Google.

She said verification of their maps are done daily, and major changes to their databases are made four times a year.

"In some cases, this means a change will be reflected in our database, but may not yet be available to the customers of our industry partners," Delaney said.

Google responded to the Echo just before press time: "The team is looking into it."