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Pingree to Google Maps: Town of York in Wrong Place
04/29/2011 01:44 PM ET  

Pingree says Google Maps shows the coastal town well inland, and that's hurting businesses that rely on the summer tourist trade.

york search result

Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree is asking Google's CEO to put the town of York back where it belongs. The 1st District Democrat says Google maps places the town 26 miles north of its actual location "and well inland."

Pingree says the mistake is hurting businesses in the coastal town, which relies heavily on the summer tourist trade. She says she's written to Google CEO Larry Page asking him to fix the problem.

"I understand that online bookings for some inns in York have fallen significantly because of this situation, at a time when businesses are just gearing up for the tourist season," she writes in the letter.
York Harbor
Pingree sent Page a photo of the town (right) highlighting its coastal location, and a link to Google map's search result for "York, Maine," which shows the town well inland (above).

Below is full text of Pingree's letter to Page.

Larry Page
Google, Inc
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
April 29, 2011
Dear Mr. Page:

I was shocked to learn that when Google Map users search for the lovely Maine town of York, the results often show a location 26 miles to the north. And worse yet, it is a problem that was first reported two years ago, and has cropped back up now, just as tourists are beginning to plan their summer visits to Maine.

You can see the results by following this link:

Let me tell you a little bit about the town of York. One of the oldest towns in Maine, York was first settled in 1624. York Harbor is among the prettiest on the East Coast, and the community has a long maritime tradition--which is why it's frustrating to do a search on Google Maps and find it located about 15 miles inland.

I am attaching a photo of what a Google Map search for York, Maine turns up as well as a photo of York Harbor that I found on Google Maps by manually zooming in on where I know York to really be. As you can see, they are both lovely parts of Maine, but very different.

This problem has a real economic impact for businesses in the area. I understand that online booking for some inns in York have fallen significantly because of this situation, at a time when businesses are just gearing up for the tourist season.

Like millions of people, I have come to rely on the many, many valuable services Google provides. But this is a real problem for businesses in the town of York and I urge Google to fix it as soon as possible. Please keep me updated on your progress.


Chellie Pingree
Member of Congress


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