Putting 641 On The Map


While 641 has been opened for nearly a month, according to apps, the road has just popped up. Those who know about it and use it love it, but there are many other don’t know it’s open.

Driving along 641 it’s easy to understand why drivers may still be confused about the road. Many barrels and cones remain on the east side and drivers are having a hard time determining whether or not the by pass is open. And because traffic has been rather light, maps have been slow to update.

“They receive traffic data from phones using the apps,” says former Google employee and Rose-Hulman Computer Science professor Dave Fisher.  “If they see a lot of people using a route then they are pretty sure it’s opened. If they see a lot of people are not going a certain way, they can live update and see a detour is in place.”

And drivers who depend on apps to get around don’t get the information they need. Fisher says changes to maps do occur daily.  But just imagine all the different road projects, and government agencies that have to be checked, before a change can take place.

“They’ve got partners that can be government agencies or companies. Vigo County can even be one of the Google Base Map Company and they submit to Google what’s called Vector Map Data.Google reviews it for accuracy then after approving it ingest it into their systems.”

And with that many moving parts, mistakes can easily happen.

“Sometimes there are plans submitted like by my house there was a plan to put in a road. It got submitted and approved and Google put it in their maps. Only problem is the road never got built,” says Fisher.

Which is why Google wants to make sure the road exists before making the update.

“So Google hates when they make that mistake so sometimes they’re a little cautious and make sure the roads are good to go before they start sending people on them,” says Fisher.
Even though there are different map builders, Fisher says they all use the same basic software.

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