How to correct a Google Maps address marker?
October 21, 2013 4:31 PM   Subscribe

No matter how hard I try, Google Maps will not move its incorrect marker for an address of mine.

I have a space in Seattle with a simple, legit street address. The address is written on the front door, and the post office delivers to it.

I often want people to meet me there. But when anyone searches for this address in Google Maps, the marker icon is placed in the wrong location. And the incorrect spot is a block away, past a jog in the street. So very often my guests trust Google and end up wandering the neighborhood next to mine.

Google Maps has both "Move Marker" and "Report a Problem" menu items for this marker. I've submitted corrections about a dozen times over the past three years. And still this marker is incorrect. Both Bing maps and Mapquest show markers on the correct block.

I would gladly pay money to Google to have this fixed so I could invite guests without worry. But I can't find any way to Make Something Happen. Is there a secret method for getting markers corrected on Google Maps?
posted by bruceo to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Check out this previous AskMetaFilter. The asker had to sign into to google to get it updated. Not sure if that will help you, though.
posted by nightwood at 4:59 PM on October 21, 2013

Do you have a business? Is your business listed in the Yellow Pages? Does your business have an actual physical address?

If so, there's a couple of things you can do: you can claim your business listing from Google Places for Business, or you can create a Google Plus Business Page.

In both scenarios you "claim" your address by getting a PIN sent to your address.

The challenge is that it doesn't work very well if you are in a suite, and the suite is not listed on Google Maps, or if you are located on a floor other than the main floor, and that is not listed in the Google Maps address.

For its mapping service, Google uses different databases than do Bing and Mapquest, which is why you are seeing different results. All mapping services refer to a variety of databases to triangulate location.

One way to ensure you show up in the right location on a Google Map is to submit your business to as many "NAP directories" as possible (NAP = Name, Address, Phone). MOZ probably has lists of these NAP directories. The more directories with the correct address, the strong signal.

You could also try Google Mapmaker, which is sort of a Wikipedia-like service where lay users can create and edit maps, and these changes are sometimes incorporated into Google Maps.

In summary, Google Maps pulls its location data from a variety of sources; your physical address can be claimed and I think modified by using Google Places for Business.

You can also create a G+ page and merge your Places listing with your G+ business page.

NAP directories are the best way to update your "true location."
posted by KokuRyu at 5:45 PM on October 21, 2013

Can you get a bunch of your friends to report the problem to Google?
posted by alms at 7:26 PM on October 21, 2013

Make sure it's right in OpenStreetMap, too. You can edit it if it's wrong there.
posted by scruss at 7:53 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have not had good luck attempting to move address markers, but I have successfully created a new address marker at the correct location. When creating the place in Map Maker, choose “Address” as the category, then enter the address information and cross your fingers.
posted by jleedev at 8:30 AM on October 22, 2013

Map Maker is useful because there are human editors (you can explain the problem and why you are creating a "canonical" address) and because it can act as a strong "signal" to Google Maps.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:19 AM on October 22, 2013

I wish I had better news, but I submitted two separate corrections several weeks apart for an elementary school that was .5 mi / 800 meters off. The marker was not even on the right street, so this was a severe error, yet it took months to be corrected. Google's services are a marvel, but there's no way to escalate when something is seriously wrong. I'm sure Google doesn't want to allow a single person to change markers willy-nilly, but the current system is poor at corrections. I think the suggestion to have multiple people report the issue would probably help.
posted by wnissen at 10:04 AM on October 22, 2013

I was only about 50% successful at getting GMaps to correct a multiple-errors situation (here: the street with the building outline is actually a Court, and the Drive goes through the park, while the marker for the Girl Scouts should be on top of the building instead of inside the park). It's not a horrible error for navigation purposes because it's fairly obvious once you're there physically, but it does affect whether you can find the actual address due to the misnamed street. I'm also not entirely sure at this point (a year later) whether some of what I got changed has changed back to what it was before.

I agree that G+ is probably your best bet since it will do better in search results.
posted by dhartung at 3:28 PM on October 22, 2013

I have had success getting Google to correct an erroneous map listing, but it took about a year. I submitted it a couple of times and just tried to warn my friends when they were coming to visit.
posted by alms at 6:36 AM on October 23, 2013

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