A Google Maps mistake filled a tiny Norwegian town with confused tourists

google maps error norway pulpit rock
Nanisimova/123RF
Google Maps is great, but it doesn’t always get it right, as a small village in Norway recently learned.

Fossmark, a tiny fjord community about 170 miles southwest of the capital city of Oslo, has reportedly been overrun with tourists thinking they’ve arrived at the striking and very beautiful Preikestolen cliff, also known as Pulpit Rock. Trouble is, the scenic spot is 18 miles away on the other side of the water.

The culprit appears to be Google Maps, which has been sending travelers to the settlement, their cars and minibuses apparently clogging up its narrow roads.

One resident told local media they’ve sent “hundreds of tourists away in no uncertainty that they’re on the wrong side of the fjord.” Another said some tourists get “quite upset” when told they’re a good 30-minute drive from their intended destination.

Several residents even have fun handing the lost visitors a pair of binoculars so they can see everyone having a lovely time on the scenic cliff … on the other side of the fjord.

Google encourages users of its Maps app to let it know about any issues so that it can fix them for greater accuracy and to prevent unnecessarily long drives to the wrong destination when using its directions.

With Google Maps covering the entire planet, it’s no surprise that errors like this hit the headlines from time to time. Many years ago the app was sending hordes of drivers to some poor guy’s driveway instead of a state park in New Jersey. And just last year the app was blamed in a case where a demolition firm knocked down the wrong houseOops!

Such hiccups also bring to mind the embarrassing start Apple made with its own Maps app nearly five years ago. Within hours of its launch, users quickly realized it really should have stayed in the workshop for some fine tuning. The mobile software, which replaced Google Maps as iPhone’s default mapping app, mistakenly put an entire city in the sea, labeled a farm as an airport, and even did away with Shakespeare’s home city of Stratford-upon-Avon. Thankfully the app’s troubled days are now far behind it.

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