Not Logged In Log In   Sign Up   Points Leaders
Follow Us    12:07 AM

Message Forum - Read Message

Category: Talk back to us! > Topics Add to favorite topics   Post new topicPost New Topic
Author Topic: How do we correct the map used for Map Gas Prices? Back to Topics
CampKohler

Champion Author
Sacramento

Posts:12,690
Points:2,010,020
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 12:57:11 PM

There are (in the Sacramento area at least) errors and artifacts in the map used as the basis of the MGP map. If that map was a Google map, one could use the Report A Problem request or actually enter the correction using Google Map Maker. How does one go about getting corrections made on the base map GB uses?

As an example, look at the MGP map (left) vs. Google map (right) in this small area NW of town.



[Edited by: CampKohler at 1/16/2013 12:59:58 PM EST]
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
Profile Pic
CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

Posts:12,690
Points:2,010,020
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Jan 19, 2013 3:00:13 PM

Despite Don's reply, It seems unlikely that GB personnel are actually doing personal cartography, if for no other reason than they would have no idea what changes occur anywhere other than in their own local area unless they relied upon close examination of satellite images for the entire country (a practical impossibility no matter how many volunteers are working in the back room). So it all comes down to the third-party supplier providing correct data or not. Since Don did not mention any process for inputting user-supplied corrections or suggestions in direct answer to the OP, I have to assume there is no such process, i.e. the map is the way it is and is going to stay that way until the data source sees fit to change something.

If that assumption is correct, perhaps GB needs to think about switching to another service. I have looked at several of the providers, and Google seems to have the best data. Even if one could conclude through careful examination that it did not, I think Google has an superior advantage over the others in that it has a good method of incorporating user corrections. So even if it had bad data, it at least has a way of getting good data, and, over time, things improve. Because users can input corrections, Google does not have to depend strictly on updating by county GIS data files or other governmental input that is at times (at least in my area) can be flat wrong.

Just to give you an idea, I once detected some errors in the county GIS as seen with the Assessor's Parcel Map Viewer, namely, some transposed street names. In preparing to submit corrections to the Assessor's office (which mapping dept does the input), I contacted the Dept. of Transportation seeking the official source of street names for the county, expecting to find some holy work, The Fount of All Truth. I was told that here was no such work, but if I needed only only a couple of names researched they would do it. I declined, but asked them how they did the research, which was more valuable knowledge to me than simply one or two streets. He replied, "I use the Assessor's Parcel Map Viewer." Should I have been surprised that the government was a just a messed up as everybody else? They are people and people make mistakes.

Google has two methods of correction. The first and oldest in Report A Problem, where you describe what is wrong and how you think it should be fixed. By supplying a link to photos or drawings, one can provide convincing evidence of some change (if it isn't already visible in Streetview). The second and newest, is MapMaker, where a user can actually alter the map (road alignments, etc.) and supply detailed data about various aspects of the environment (for example that a road is passable by only pedestrians and bicycles, but not autos). Sometimes your corrections reach a moderator who "doesn't get it" and you have to resubmit, but eventually you can get things done, and the map improves. It sort of works like GB, you stake out "your area" and keep a close watch on it, making sure submissions aren't bogus or spammy. With enough eyeballs on the map, mistakes and vandalism are filtered out.

Perhaps the current GB map provider has a long-term contract with GB and it can't be cancelled. Let's hope not. Let's hope GB can switch so that we don't have to just live with errors.




[Edited by: CampKohler at 1/19/2013 3:05:30 PM EST]
Profile Pic
jrsva
Champion Author Virginia

Posts:12,505
Points:2,165,725
Joined:Jan 2006
Message Posted: Jan 19, 2013 1:08:30 AM

Thanks for the input Don. I would still like to understand why GB uses Google Maps for everything else on the site (MSL, locations for individual stations) but keeps the less detailed, less useful GB maps for Map Gas Prices. I know there is a cost for using Google but then they do the upkeep and you have a better product. The photo imagery is especially valuable.
Profile Pic
Don
Moderator
Message Posted: Jan 18, 2013 1:24:15 PM

Hi CampKohler,

Generating maps is an arduous and time consuming process, we do try our best to keep all of the map tiles as up to date as possible, but that sometimes isn't always achieved.

The developers who created that maps are aware of inconsistencies that can arise, we source third party data for the GB maps, we apologize if this data is not always correct or UTD.

Different mapping services and mapping sources do not always have identical information (ie. comparing Bing to Google maps).

One thing I'd like to note separately is that some people understandably confuse copyright dates on map services as an indication that the maps are up to date, which is not always the case.

-Don
Profile Pic
scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:96,160
Points:3,803,990
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Jan 18, 2013 6:08:22 AM

I'm not seeing this as a huge deal. These are digital maps from two sources.
Profile Pic
CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

Posts:12,690
Points:2,010,020
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Jan 18, 2013 2:51:04 AM

BB: You are probably right, because a lonely hexagonal road has few other explanations. In the downtown page of the Sacto. Thomas Guide, the sewer plant is called the CA Auto Museum (which is the adjacent building). I report it every year, but they fail to correct the error, probably for the very reason you suggest.

SM: Look 3 posts back.
Profile Pic
jrsva
Champion Author Virginia

Posts:12,505
Points:2,165,725
Joined:Jan 2006
Message Posted: Jan 18, 2013 12:33:18 AM

The maps used for Map Gas Prices was, I believe, produced by or for GasBuddy. There is no way to update it until the GB programmers decide to do it. Why they chose to use this instead of Google Maps (as in the MSL) is unfathomable. The map is hugely out of date in any area where development is taking place and new roads are being constructed. There was a bypass built around a nearby town almost ten years ago; it does not appear on the GB map. It is not just “artifacts;” there are real roads missing.

Profile Pic
bytebug
Champion Author Orange County

Posts:29,033
Points:4,674,575
Joined:Oct 2001
Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 11:06:31 PM

"Errors and artifacts" are routinely introduced in all maps as a means by which to determine copyright or licensing violations. They are normally changes made "out in the middle of nowhere" so as to not be obvious errors, and also so as to not affect the normal usability of the map.
Profile Pic
scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:96,160
Points:3,803,990
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 8:54:27 PM

Yeah I know what Q.E.D. means CK. So, which map is correct? And are both maps at the same time?
Profile Pic
CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

Posts:12,690
Points:2,010,020
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 5:23:17 PM

sm: This express purpose for this category is not for "gas prices;" it is to "Ask us a question, or bring something to our attention." I asked a question. Q.E.D.*

----
*Latin for "Quick, Exit the Discussion." It's true, I tell you.
Profile Pic
scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:96,160
Points:3,803,990
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 5:12:58 AM

Well if this has nothing to do with gas prices, it should be moved to another category like Off Topic. Moderators please move this topic.
Profile Pic
CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

Posts:12,690
Points:2,010,020
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 12:15:05 AM

SM: It has nothing to do with gas prices, but that is irrelevant.

GB: The area of the example is out in the middle of nowhere, i.e. farmland, well away from any development, so the time frame is not really important in the grand scheme of things, but since you brought it up, the date of the data is given as 2013, which is in the ballpark of RIGHT NOW. It shows that what is on the GB map is not real (not that one would think that a road in the shape of a hexagon with no connection with other roads would likely be taken as real). You can tell what the issue is by reading the words immediately preceding the question mark.
Profile Pic
Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

Posts:29,599
Points:3,587,670
Joined:Aug 2004
Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 3:37:18 PM

It appears that the two maps you're referencing are different maps (in the same manner that Apple maps, Goggle maps, and MapQuest maps are similar but different.

Is the issue the UFO Landing Facility being on one map but not on the other? Or is the issue something else?

Are you asking that all maps be the same? Or is the issue something else?
Profile Pic
scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:96,160
Points:3,803,990
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 2:07:09 PM

Are both maps for the same time? If not, that could be one reason things are different.

I guess my question is what does this have to do with gas prices?
Post a reply Back to Topics