Google Earth has a Nazi-era Mountain Name in Germany

Bad Label in Google EarthResidents in Germany have discovered there are some legacy label issues with the “Geographic Features” layer in Google Earth. Spiegel Online (in German) reports that apparently someone noticed a mountain was labeled “Adof Hitler-Berg”. The Nazi-era names like this were purged from Germany’s maps and databases after the war. But, apparently some of the US databases still have the old names. According to a 64 year-old resident of the area, the mountain has not had the old name for as long as he can remember. A representative from Google says in the article that the label will be fixed with the next update to the layers in about 2 weeks. You can see the bad label here , by turning on the “Geographic Features” layer (if Google hasn’t already changed it).
In Google’s defense, they have a huge challenge in gathering data describing virtually everything on Earth, processing terabytes of information, and attempting to avoid volatile issues (e.g. border disputes). Language translation issues make it even more difficult. I think the main point here is that Google is sharing the data, and if they discover issues they should address it as quickly as they can. If you see something in the default layers of Google Earth which is incorrect, you can report the problem at the Data Discussions forum. Thanks to GEB reader Frederic for the tip on this story.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Man, I just hope the anti-terror-databases in the US are more up to date. 🙂

  2. When you look at the whole process, you have to ask, what the source of this data is. If, let’s say, Google corrects the data in their layer, and then the source of the data provides another update of the layer to Google which still has the old name for the feature, it is a real challenge to try to resolve those differences on massive datasets. Hopefully Google has a way to propagate the changes back to their source, if not, errors have a way of coming back or the rules used to accept data updates become unmanageably complex.

  3. I wonder, when the “L” was gone. First, when the database was made, or at Google today, or some time in between.
    Actually, your picture features an “Adof” (without the “L”) “Hitler-Berg”.

  4. Franziska says:

    Sorry, but there is no excuse for a mistake like this! Surely Google must have at least one employee that does know a bit about world history and has common sense to do a bit of research reading about a Adolf Hitler mountain, especially using an old database.

  5. WachtamRheinbeiRhöndorf says:

    Slightly excels Stalin-ridge.
    But somewhat inferior to Churchill-tor.
    Fat Man-range’s hard to beat.
    Rock de Clemenceau still beeing underestimated.

    War-criminals ain’t comfort alpinists at all.

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