NYU Medical Center reports Maps problems

Another report of large medical center problems with Google Maps:

== 1 of 1 ==
Date: Thurs, Mar 8 2007 9:22 pm
From: “Michael”  

I have the same exact problem. I am the web director for NYU Medical Center.

I have the correct address and phone number listed in over 20,000 pages on the footer.

Google maps does not have an elegant mechanism for validating changes. With large institutions, mail stops can be very difficult so the post card method does not work. Also, our call center is analog, so they can not validate there. How about a validation tag on our web site?
that would seem to be the most logical.

This has become a serious problem for us, as we have patients
literally showing up in the wrong locations when they are scheduled for surgery.

I have sent several emails to the maps group, to no avail.

Bart, if you find a solution i would love to hear it. I would love to know where the mapbot is getting its data from. An XML document on the root of my server listing the correct addresses and numbers would make the most sense to me.


Obviously, the method that Google uses to collect this sort of data is flawed and the mechanisms for correction are very limiting at this point.
The original Duke Center post (which has been corrected)

> On Feb 21, 11:50 am, “bart” wrote:
> > I work at Duke Health in Durham, NC.  This organization includes many
> > hospitals, clinics, and other entities.
> > In Google maps, a search for “Duke Medical Center” returns two
> > different entries in the top 10 results, neither of which is correct.
> > They both have the wrong phone numbers.  These numbers lead to
> > particular doctor’s offices, and they are being swamped with calls
> > from people trying to reach the main medical center.
> > I cannot stress how unacceptable this situation is.  I’ve contacted
> > support at Google (that contact form has since been removed), and was
> > advised to use the “Google Local Business Center” to manage
> > locations.  So I managed to correct a particular entry for Duke
> > Medical Center, but other wrong ones still remain.
> > You can’t possibly expect us to track down all of these invalid
> > locations, and try to obtain the mailed postcards to get them removed
> > or corrected.  Some of the addresses are wrong and we wouldn’t even
> > get the cards!
> > And why do some locations show a listing of multiple phone numbers?
> > See this search result to see an item that returns no less than FIVE
> > phone numbers at once, all of which are wrong.
> >http://www.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=duke+medical+center&near=Durham,+N…
> > Right now, the only solution I see is to block Google crawlers from
> > indexing any sites, as it currently seems that any phone number found

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
NYU Medical Center reports Maps problems by

7 thoughts on “NYU Medical Center reports Maps problems”

  1. Mike: I’m migrating from a snide commentator on the size and seriousness of mistakes to one who acknowledges that G is making efforts to resolve problems.

    I do believe they need to increase the scope of customer service responses to be able to identify, acknowledge,and correct mistakes more quickly. They have plenty of money and manpower. They could tackle this more aggressively if and when some of the more egregious problems become more public.

    In the meantime they are making some changes for the better. They just should do it more quickly. (frankly if I was Y or MSN I’d be highlighting stuff like this like there was no tomorrow. LOL

    G made corrections on the Duke U. data the day it appeared in G maps for business owners. I spoke w/ Bart a few days later to find that “most” of the problems were resolved. (I don’t understand that one.)

    You’d think that if they are aggregating lots of data from old websites and old directory information they can cleanse data to find the most up to date URL and trash all the old data–the authority site for the business. If not some process like that…then they just need to put more customer service operators available to cleanse the data.

    Regardless there is some progress there.


  2. Hi Dave-

    I am not sure that anyone that lives in glass houses should throw stones. I am sure that if Yahoo and MSN got anywhere near the scrutiny of Google we would see similar (and perhaps more egregious) errors.

    Google is going to pick the easy fruits of correction first and if many problems (i.e.map location) can be solved by sending folks to the Local Business Center, they will and I envision the most common problems being solved there.

    There are some that will be corrected by improving the data that Google chooses to use, but there are some like business closings that will be harder to fix. I am anxious to see the tactic that Google chooses for that.


  3. hmmm. the glass house metaphor may be entirely accurate. We aren’t seeing that volume of comments because no other engine has elevated their local data into organic queries.

    I too am eager to see how Google responds.

  4. Mike:

    I took a hard look through Y and MSN local. You are right. There are a similar number of erroneous listings. The data must be accumulated from very similar sources.

    If they were all similarly accessed by as many visitors then all of them would be seeing the same volume of comments.


  5. The company I work for recently hired a marketing firm to see if it was possible to increase our brand awareness by making our centre locations visible through google maps. So far the results are not that satisfactory.

    We are doing our research and the potential looks great but the implementation is not so easy.(I guess that’s a good thing, right? otherwise all our competitors would be on top of it.)

    BTW, I am finding this blog realy helpful. Already subscribed.

  6. Jane

    Right you are on the complexity issue. It is solvable but it is confusing and time consuming.

    I am glad that you have found the site useful. I would only ask that if you have experience relating to the conversation that you occasionally share it with everybody.

    Thanks again


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