As many of you know I live in upstate NY about 70 miles due south of Buffalo. You may not know that I am flying home today from Denver after speaking at the Hospitality Marketing Conference.
You also know that there has been a boatload of snow in Buffalo and that people have died. And that the storms are continuing. You may not know that most snow fall throughout all of Western New York is caused by the lake affect of the cold westerlies passing over Lake Erie, picking up moisture and then dropping snow in very narrow west-east bands. These bands are often only a mile or two wide north to south so if you get through it is often clear on the other side.
You probably know that a number of roads have closed in the Buffalo area and that includes the major north south routes that parallel the lake that I take to get home, routes 400 and 219. You probably don’t know that the airport is open and only got a few inches of snow and that where I live in Allegany, NY 70 miles south of Buffalo is about 10 miles outside of the snow belt and also has very little snow.
As I was getting ready to start my day, I was wondering if there was a route home from the airport that somehow avoided the many road closures and perhaps navigated to the east of most of the snowfall. I checked both Apple Maps and Google Maps and got two very different but interesting answers.
You also probably know that I would rather spend the night in my own bed rather than in Buffalo tonight. Or maybe not. It will be interesting to see “ground truth” when I land this evening.
Accurate driving directions obviously can be a matter of life or death. Heading off into a serious winter storm can be dangerous but sometimes it makes sense. Google says no go, but Apple could very well be correct in this situation.
I am not sure if I will test the directions to find out. Although if you live or work near the Buffalo Airport I would love to hear from you.
Update: After battling Waze with its overly invasive privacy settings, it surprisingly confirmed Apple’s routing. Curious that Waze, which is owned by Google and often supplies data to Google Maps, is not used in this situation.Apple Maps Vs. Google Maps - ThrowDown in Buffalo by Mike Blumenthal