Wednesday 25 June 2014

Ghastly Google Gigo (3)

Google's tentacles spread far and wide!
The explosion of press-release promulgated publicity just over a month ago was somewhat misleading. Now there's a surprise! Looking at "Google Maps" did not reveal an significant change, although the data that lay beneath the bus information may have, in theory (!), been improved.
See "Ghastly Google Gigo (2)" (read again)

Now what follows develops into such obvious garbarge in so many ways that no sane enquirer will ever use it. That isn't the point. The press reports were so effusive about this marvellous new facility that the journals' readers much have been whooping for joy all round their living rooms or offices. The point is, simply, that the services is ----- [insert suitably derogatory descriptive adjective!].

But this novelty is revealed in all its glory in Google Maps TRANSIT.
For no the reason other than that it is in your author's back garden (almost literally at one point), fbb chose to enquire for transit from a station at Colyton (stop on left) ...
... to a station at Beer ...
... a simple two leg journey by bus, changing here (same stop, sorry, station) at Marine Place, Seaton.
From Colyton to Seaton it will either be Axe Valley's 885 or Stagecoach 20. Leg two would be either First's X53 or Axe Valley 899.
So here we go - go Google Transit.
A map appears - and what a map. It is too big to blog in one, so here it is in three chunks. Explanations will follow; meanwhile just marvel at the technology that has delivered this advice. The screen shots have been edited/enlarged to aid comprehension (?).


Kings Cross to Kings ... ?

... Lynn and onwards to the south thereof.

The little "walking man" icons are revealing. At Axminster ...
... we take a 1 minute walk to Axminster. It looks as if Google have merged Axminster (Trinity Square, the town centre) with Axminster Station. Then at Waterloo ...
... we have a Mo Farrah 2 minute sprint from train to Tenison Way, followed by a bus ...
... going in the wrong direction; it should be Streatham Hill to Kings Cross. And, of course, it doesn't go to "Pentonville" or show "Pentonville" on the blinds. NaPTAN strikes its doom-laden destructive data death blow once again. No walk, however from "Pentonville" to Kings Cross. Anyway, fbb would get off outside St Pancras on Euston Road.

And finally, at Kings Lynn ...
... a 1 minute walk from station to station ...
... whence Stagecoach Norfolk Green will take us back south.
We arrive at West Winch; in case you had forgotten, we are travelling from Colyton via Seaton to Beer - or we should be! We obediently alight here ...
... opposite Garage Lane.

Now comes the dénoument; the deus ex machina, the truth realised, the conclusion of our journey from Colyton to Beer. A few yards down Garage Lane is the sign ...
... to the huge warehouse ...
... where we can buy - Beer, of course!
Google Maps TRANSIT has, correctly, taken us from Colyton to Beer!

From the boss of Traveline ...
"It's an amazing shop window for our operators' services," said Julie Williams, chief executive of Traveline, a partnership of Great Britain's transport operators and local authorities. "The presentation and way Google has pulled together the data looks exceptional; we've not seen anything like that before."

 Or even the big cheese at Google ...
“In Britain, public transport is part of the national psyche," said David Tattersall, product manager for public transport in Google Maps. "The biggest changes will be on mobile, as devices are becoming more and more powerful and they’re things we spend a lot of time with. We’re aiming to really improve users’ lives.”
Thanks for that, Dave!

If it wasn't so sad, it would be laughable. Hundreds of thousands of pounds spend on complete rubbish. But then it was ever thus with technology.
The first two comments below were added when this blog was wrongly posted on Monday. So fbb tried again yesterday, just to make sure that his failing brain wasn't doing something really silly. Here is the Google summary of two possible journeys from Colyton United Kingdom to Beer United Kingdom.
There was no other "Beer" offered in the search window.

Whatever the reason, a system that can do this isn't worth the silicon it's burned into!
 Next bus blog : Thursday 26th June 


  1. Oh dear - you have had a bad experience ! I've just tried the same thing and I have to say found it very impressive. No nonsense about Norfolk beer emporia, just the options you have mentioned plus a few variations. I have to admit that at first I thought it a bit ridiculous to suggest catching the 885 to Seaton then a 27 minute walk to Beer as a slightly slower alternative than waiting for the 899 - but on reflection if I were holidaying in the area, a walk along the South West Coastal Path from Seaton to Beer (especially today) seems a thoroughly excellent idea !

  2. Is it possible fbb is using the "old" Google Maps for this adventure? Google offers me a simple route 20 bus.

  3. NMcB - can't really recommend the coastal path. Due to landslips etc. it is almost all in land, along roads and well away from the sea. Better is the double deck X53 with excellent views. Even better, however, is the ride down the steep hill into Beer from the Exeter direction. I'm off to West Winch for the beer! (perhaps not?)

  4. I think the problem is that Google Maps has two versions online, and only the new one (what was the 'beta') is blessed with the improved transit system.

    Can I suggest clicking here to see if you can upgrade?