Sunday, February 14, 2010

Google Maps Data 3.5yrs+ Old. Yankee Stadium is Missing

Yankee Stadium according to Google Maps

I have recently noticed that the Google maps data around and near Manhattan is ridiculously old. How old I am not sure, but it is at least 3.5 years out of date. The landmarks that triggered this realization are probably not that interesting to most people, but in looking around I found one that pretty much everyone should recognize.

On Google Maps, the new Yankee Stadium, the one that they played the entire 2009 season in, and the one that broke ground on 8/06/2006 and was being built in 2007, and 2008, does not exist in the sattelite imagery.

When I say it doesnt exist, what I mean is, as you can see from the above picture, there is not only no new stadium, there is not even a *hint* of construction. Nothing. Nada. What is shown in the image is the old track and field that was there before the new stadium was built.

Interestingly, if you look at the red circle in the picture, which marks where the stadium really is, the meta data is correct. They seem to know where the stadium is. But the image is clearly very old.

The question really is, how old? Could it really be four or five years old? This is really incredible to me, as it reflects, at best a severe complacency around the quality of the data they are using. Why can't they at least do yearly satellite image update over the worlds most populated cities?

Bing's view of Yankee Stadium.

Interestingly, as you can see from the above photo, Bing is a bit better, as they clearly show construction, but very early construction. I presume this is from early 2007 or late 2006.


  1. Try Bing Maps Bird's Eye. There's even a packed crowd and players on the field.

  2. It is hard to believe they would be so far behind in NYC, but it gets even worse in other locations. My brother lives in the state of Washington and his subdivision, which he's lived in for four years, shows up as a big blank bulldozed area. That wouldn't be so bad. But if you go back in time with the history control, his house and many others show up in satellite images taken in 2006. Hence google went back in time when it updated the area where he lives. Go figure. I've no doubt stories like these are just the tip of the iceburg.

    Incidentally google has been contacted (via the method they provide for providing feedback for google earth) about the subdivision discrepancy by several people and none have received any response. Myself included.

    Bing is no better with the aerial photos of the area. It too shows and empty field, and its street map is very incomplete (googles is not). Bings "birdseye" feature does show a newer, but still at least two year old photo of the area. In this case they are sort of an improvement, but nothing to write home about.

    Google earth in incredible, and I love it. But it would be nice to have a way to let google know when it's slipping, and a way for google to either update or explain why they haven't in a way all can access.

  3. My company had a church built next to it four years ago and it still doesn't appear on Google Maps. My understanding of the explanation for this is that the firms that provide geospatial images sell the "real-time" or more recent images to commercial customers. They give away or deeply discount outdated images to Google Maps etc. while reserving the most current images for paying customers, I guess similar to the way analyst firms such as Gartner and Forrester will eventually give away research for which they original charged several hundreds or thousands of dollars.

  4. Who cares about Yankee Stadium? Lets get Mets-tatic!

  5. I've noticed the same thing in the Miami area. The old Miami Arena is still up, demolished in '08. The Orange Bowl is still up, demolished in '08 to make way for the Florida Marlins stadium which began construction. The meta-data is also accurate for these. I think the Miami Arena photo is from around September 2008 since the "Biscayne Wall" residential highrises a few blocks away are already completed and that construction ended in late 2008 while the arena was demolished in October.

    On the other hand, South Pointe Park in Miami Beach (like... 7 miles from the old Miami Arena and about 11 from old Orange Bowl) is shown under renovations which occurred in early 2009. Those photos are a year old, yet the others are at LEAST 2-3 years old.

    It seems strange how Google selects their photos with such time discrepancies.

  6. Ha, I just noticed the very same thing in regards to the new Giants Stadium a few miles away being built at the same time.

  7. Look at New Orleans when you get a chance. The images are still from right after Katrina hit, makes everything look horrible.

  8. Once I noticed something like this in Google Earth. Back then (must have been a year ago), google Earth had the date in which the picture had been taken.

    That picture was a little more than 2 years old, but it was a rural zone in some Mexican secondary road, so I wasn't too shocked.

  9. I have a Google Android phone and there is an application for gps on the golf courses. I noticed that google's images are absolutely terrible compared to the ones found on mapquest. The Mapquest version is crystal clear and you can actually see golf carts on the path. Although, knowing that their maps are so bad for New York City does make it easier to understand the terrible maps for a small-town in Kentucky, although if Mapquest can do it why can't Google?*qqmf,+Bardstown,+KY+40004&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=40.86791,107.138672&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=132+Maywood+Ave,+Bardstown,+Nelson,+Kentucky+40004&ll=37.790947,-85.430149&spn=0.004994,0.013078&t=h&z=17

  10. Google maps should keep up with the times like Nearmap that we have in Australia. Its updated monthly and is better quality.

    Unfortunately only capital cities in Australia are shown at present.

    Lets hope they expand there horizons

  11. I have the opposite problem...I'm looking for maps from a few years ago and all I can find are 2011 versions. Funny that Denver would be current and Manhattan not?!

  12. Google Earth on Miri City (Sarawak, Malaysia) is 11 years old. Hope Google can do something about this.


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