Fixing incorrect information in Google Earth

We get a lot of emails from users that would like to report incorrect information. Perhaps a misspelled road name, incorrect building name, etc.
Fortunately, Google makes it very easy to report problems like that. You can read all of your options on this help page, but in most cases you’ll simply want to use the “Report a Problem” link in Google Maps. In Google Earth you can simply click the icon at the top-right to “View in Google Maps” and it will take you directly to the current location. Then right click the location to find the “Report a problem” option. Once reported and reviewed, the location will usually be corrected in Google Maps within a month, and then corrected in Google Earth at some point after that.

report-a-problem.jpg

Here’s a brief video showing how it works:

Have you ever reported a problem using this tool? I’ve submitted a handful from my town, and all were resolved within a few weeks.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.



Comments

  1. Esme Cowles says:

    I’ve reported one or two mistakes, and they were fixed in Google Maps pretty quickly. One was really annoying: a street that almost but doesn’t go through was marked as going through, and directions often told people to go through there and made them wind up at a dead end. Google removed the intersection and added a footpath so pedestrians know they can get through that way.
    Too bad Mapquest, Yahoo, Bing, etc. can’t pick up the fix… They all still have the street going through.

  2. I’ve tried to use the tool a few times for Milan: there are some strange situations in which places are listed with their real address but are shown on the map in other positions. One of them is very evident.
    I never heard back nor got fixed those misplacings…

  3. Dave Timpe says:

    I’ve tried to fix several errors in Marinette, WI and Lansing, MI over the years, and none so far have been fixed.
    Two of the most glaring are two blocks of Main St. in Marinette, WI misidentified as Pierce Ave. on Google Maps and as Riverside Ave. on street view.
    Several blocks of Oakland Ave on the West side of Lansing are misidentified as Oakland Rd.
    Both of these are major streets.

  4. May I report in that way also an incorect information that is available only in Google Earth, not in Google Maps, I mean wrong second level borders around Czelad┼║, Poland?

  5. I have tried sending corrections (BiH) several times and received response thank me and that they take it under advisement. But nothing has ever changed, furthermore it has gotten worse, because the maps are less accurate today then 4 years ago.

  6. I’ve never tried to have misaligned placemarks in my hometown corrected, because there are so many I could make that my full-time job. Once I tried to report a Street View problem, where for a significant stretch of street I knew there was some completely incorrect imagery (while the street that should have said imagery wasn’t even featured in Street View). I described in great detail what and where the error is, but the final response I got back indicated they semi-automatically checked the images for “inappropriate content” (that is, nudity etc.), unsurprisingly found none, and closed the case with the error left unfixed. I replied to tell them where and why they’re wrong and that they should check again following my original report, but got no further response. I found that so frustrating I’ve never bothered anymore to report any other errors I’d encounter. Obviously they don’t want my help.

  7. I would like to know the proportion of reports which result in a change, although the facility is obviously a step in the right direction.
    The problem is that every country has distinctive issues . In the UK for example there is a strict separation between public roads, i.e. ones that you can legally drive along, and others with limited access (although possibly OK for cycling or walking), and Google maps completely fail to pick up this distinction, showing physical rather than legal roads.
    Not even the national mapping agency, Ordnance Survey, has got it right after two centuries, and it would be a monumental task for users to correct Google Maps, even if Google wanted to know. Meanwhile do not rely on being able to drive along minor roads shown.

  8. I just double checked and the two problems I noted earlier are still there. That Oakland Ave. problem in Lansing covers the whole West side of town. I reported them over a year ago. I saved the automated responses, but they don’t contain reference to where the problem was reported, so I can’t identify specific dates.
    I guess somebody has to be naked in the street or something to get a problem fixed.
    Somebody in Marinette, WI for some reason got a whole block of Marinette Ave blacked out awhile back, and I don’t recall anything other than houses, vehicles and rain being on it.

  9. Is this USA only?
    ‘Report a problem’ is not present in Google Maps when accessed in west Cornwall, UK

  10. @ Roger On my Google UK version of Maps ‘report a problem’ is at the extreme bottom right hand corner of the Naps page, then it works like the Google video. Maybe you haven’t got the full page open, or maybe it’s related to using a non UK version?
    But, judging from Street View, Germans get most success from reporting a “problem”!

  11. “Report a problem” only appears at the higher level zooms (the google data)on the UK version, making it useless for reporting problem. As soon as you get to tele atlas supplied data it disappears.
    I’ve reported problems direct to tele atlas before now, they were rejected. They still suggest a driving route that involves going straight through a locked metal gate onto a footpath, you can even see the gate on the “satellite” map! Tele Atlas really are idiots.

  12. @Steve You are right about Maps in the UK – the ‘report a problem’ link disappears when you zoom to a scale greater than c.50 miles to the inch, and the facility does not seem to appear as described at the foot of a set of directions. So a user would have difficulty in reporting any sort of local problem, and it looks like Google are misleading users outside the US whilst maps and directions go uncorrected.

  13. Just for kicks, I revisited the issue I’ve mentioned above and reported it again. I think it’s been way over a year since the last time. They now have a checkbox system where I can pre-choose the nature of the issue, so I opted to report “Other” -> “I am reporting an error in Street View such as a misplaced image, wrong address or misaligned navigation arrows”. So far so good. But the automated response I got back read:
    “According to our records, you recently submitted a report regarding an inappropriate image in Street View on Google Maps.
    We’re currently reviewing the material you reported to determine whether the image should be removed from the product.
    We appreciate your assistance.”
    In other words, they’re *again* merely checking for some nudity or similar “inappropriate” content, despite the distinction I made and despite the detailed explanation I provided. Totally ridiculous.

  14. I have reported error in imagery dating (while providing correct date) and recently (using “Report problem” option) company marked in residential building (no shop or comapny hq there). In both cases i recieved just automated reply, but nothing was fixed

  15. In 3d buildings the Greek Parliament building in Athens Greece shows a row of FYROM flags. There are no flags there in real life and certainly not of FYROM. This is obviously a hack and has been pointed out to Google Earth for weeks now and it is still there. This is outrageous and it should be rectified immediately!

  16. Certainly for me, reporting a UK Road problem to TeleAtlas has proved useless. My road is currently unnamed on Google Maps (Data provided by TeleAtlas) and has a named “road” running off it which doesn’t even exist, but is actually in another part of town! When I report the issue to TeleAtlas, my reports (note plural, as I’ve tried many times) never get further than the following status message on their page:
    Status
    Our automated processes have determined that there is sufficient information in your report for us to examine and work the issue
    Seems to be not a lot I can do, as they do not appear to be contactable by phone or email to explain and potentially work the issue.

  17. Anyone know how the data is acquired in the first place? How do they add new subdivisions, new roadways? We have many road infrastructure changes in any given year and we’d gladly provide it, if we knew where to submit it.

  18. Deskpilot says:

    I was review a U S Naval Air station where I was stationed. GE/GM had a taxiway marked as a road, but with no name. I used the Report a problem to advise, “Military aircraft taxiway. unauthorized acces subject to IMMEDIATE ARMED military security.” GE/GM updated and removed from roadway level.

  19. Funnily enough, I’ve finally just had email back from Teleatlas re my earlier post back in February stating:
    “Thank you for contacting Tele Atlas. We are unable to make the change you suggested.
    Possibly our systems couldn’t process your report because it didn’t have enough or the type of information we need. Possibly your report contradicts reports received from other reports or systems. Or possibly the type of change is not supported by our data format. If you would like to resubmit with additional details, we may be able to better review the situation.
    We rely on helpful feedback from our customers and we sincerely appreciate the time you took to provide us with your report. We apologize for the inconvenience to you.
    Thanks again for your willingness to help keep Tele Atlas maps up-to-date and accurate!”
    And yet of course as a result of this, still no change to the mapping data around here, thus both teleatlas maps and google maps remain incorrect.
    Sad really when they won’t actually take updates from the User Community.

  20. Ive tried to follow Google Map’s instructions regarding reporting an error but nothing works. So I’ll post it here in hopes that someone who can will pass it on.
    Google Maps has labeled the Trans Canada Yellowhead Highway (highway 16) as the Trans Canada Highway (highway 1). They have it right where the two highways merge just west of Portage la Prairie MB but as you go west they screw it up.
    Thanks if you can help
    Oh and why does all the writing get smaller the more you zoom in with and iPhone or iPad? Thank goodness for the iPad “accessibility” zoom setting or I wouldn’t be able to read anything.

  21. Go to http://www.google.com/mapmaker and Edit the maps yourself. I am surprised you guys haven’t tried that yet. You can sing in with an existing gmail account or any other account type.

Leave a Reply