In this post: Google Maps: Check Your Local Maps for Accuracy and then work to fix the mapping error. Also update other major map tools: Apple Maps, Bing Maps, HERE Maps, OpenStreetMap, MapBox, MapQuest, WAZE, Rand McNally.
Every travel marketing destination (DMO/CVB), tourism attraction and leisure activity should put itself in the driver’s seat to help steer (bad pun intended) visitors their way. The number of searches is huge, so we’ll write it once again: Google maps: check your local maps for accuracy. Take the wheel to make sure your tourism agency or business is listed, listed properly and a map marker plotted in the correct location on all the major online maps.
The most-utilized map service providers are:
- Apple Maps (defaults on iPhones)
- Google Maps (also a default on Android phones)
- Bing Maps (Microsoft)
- HERE Maps (Yahoo and Uber)
- OpenStreetMap (DuckDuckGo.com search engine and others)
- MapBox (used by Lonely Planet, National Geographic, Snapchat, United Airlines, The Weather Channel)
- MapQuest (owned by Verizon Media)
- WAZE (a social media traffic sharing app)
- Not as popular but a brand name mapmaker none-the-less … Rand McNally
One of the best ways to prioritize which map to tackle first is to consider major online travel planning and review sites:
- Yelp uses Google Maps
- TripAdvisor uses OpenStreetMap
- Google My Business uses Google maps
There are numerous offline travel map apps that can be downloaded and used without the benefit of Wi-Fi access. Perhaps those are best left to be added to the to-do list for a summer intern.
How to Fix a Map Error
So how do you fix a map issue? Within every U.S. county, typically the planning department is responsible for GPS (global positioning system) mapping.
One of our downtown destination clients maintains a list of attractions, restaurants, bar and lounges, and shops on its website. We noticed that individual business addresses that were recently added featured street names with NW or SW. Previously, the streets were listed as North, South, East or West as this area of the city is on an east-west grid pattern. We reached out to the local planning department and shared this oddity and within a short period of time the street directional names reverted back. However, planning departments don’t control all the elements that display on a map.
While working on a project for a well-known attraction, the marketing director of several years advised Google maps was listing a venue within their attraction versus the address at the main entrance. We noted this was an easy fix and explained how to update.
It’s important to check – Google Maps: Check Your Local Maps for Accuracy – on a routine or ongoing basis. Things can and do move when you aren’t looking. Some helpful but ill-informed individuals can make suggestions to map makers which can re-route all your hard work. If you’ve claimed your listing, Google will typically notify you of an impending change giving you the opportunity to agree or revert back to your original content.
Here is a helpful link that will give you immediate access to the most-popular map providers so you can quickly request an update:
At Flying Compass, we understand … it’s all about the experience. It’s important to do everything in your power to guarantee visitors a positive experience. We know that with positive engagement visitors will social share and perhaps become evangelists. Because of this, we offer webinars and workshops for the local tourism industry on how to put themselves on all the right maps and to place their map markers in the right spot.
If you’re looking to audit your destination’s visitor engagement experiences, or would like to schedule this topic as a workshop session for your industry, reach out to us at Flying Compass.