Nope. That’s not where that is. Photo: The RegisterOnline map services have made for some very memorable gaffes, from Apple Maps’ disastrous directions that sent people through rivers and into deserts, to the Google Maps error that led workers to demolish the wrong house. Not to be outdone, Microsoft’s Bing Maps was recently found to have misplaced an entire city.
Nanjing Night Net

When someone at IT industry news site The Register tried to locate Melbourne on Microsoft’s Bing Maps last week, the Victorian capital wasn’t even displayed in the correct hemisphere, showing up in the North Pacific Ocean just off the east coast of Japan. Microsoft has lost Melbourne.— Simon Sharwood (@ssharwood) August 21, 2016

The error, it seemed, was that Melbourne was being placed according to the co-ordinates 37.813610, 144.963100, which would be correct if not for the fact that Bing was placing it in the northern hemisphere instead of the southern.

On Twitter, Ricky Brundritt, senior program manager for Bing Maps, said the issue had been rectified. Of some concern, however, was that he also said the error was due to incomplete data pulled from Wikipedia, that invaluable online resource that any person can edit. @ssharwood This issue has been fixed. Missing negative sign in Wikipedia data.— Ricky Brundritt (@rbrundritt) August 22, 2016

Does this mean that anyone could go into Wikipedia, mess with some numbers and throw the whole of Bing Maps upside down?

Yes and no. Brunditt went on to explain that information from Wikipedia was “mainly” pulled to provide descriptions of towns and places on the site, not location data. In this case the entries had somehow resulted in a duplicate entry from Melbourne that placed it on the wrong side of the world.

Wikipedia data wasn’t used at all in developer APIs, Brunditt said, so if you were using an app or device that relied on Bing Maps data it hopefully wouldn’t direct you to Melbourne via Fukushima.

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


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