Internet Mapping Services — How Accurate? (as of 1998)


Internet Mapping Services – How Accurate?
When preparing for the 1998 Feast in the East Rally,  <>, I used several Internet mapping services to more precisely determine the location of the rally banquet location, the Old Greenbriar Restaurant, Greenbriar, Alabama (near Huntsville). I searched Infospace (Etak), Maps on Us, Street Atlas, Mapquest, Expedia, and American Directory Assistance, for the Greenbriar Restaurant, or its address, and requested the “Show Map” option or its equivalent.

Had I followed any of these but one, I would not have found my destination.

The map below shows where each of these services placed the Greenbriar
Restaurant, along with its true location. Some services warned that the
location shown was “approximate,” but some didn’t. Street Atlas 6.0 found
the correct road, but didn’t have enough of an address range to precisely
locate the restaurant. Only American Directory Assistance got the location
right. This is curious, because ADA says that its maps are provided by
Mapquest, which showed a very wrong location directly through its own website.

Infospace (Etak) and Maps on Us both located the restaurant in downtown
Greenbriar. Mapquest put it about 2 miles away, on the wrong side of I-565.
Expedia put it on the wrong side of I-65, in the wrong town.

The locations shown by the mapping services are indicated by blue squares.
The restaurant itself is shown by a red “information” symbol.

Greenbriar restaurant map