Tag Archives: ormskirk advertiser

Argleton goes national!

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It seems Argleton just won’t die! Late to the game behind the Ormskirk Advertiser, Mister Roy’s visit and my post about the village some 13 months ago, the Daily Telegraph yesterday revealed the mystery of Argleton, the ‘Google’ town that only exists online.

It’s a nice article with exclusive interviews from Joe Moran from LJMU and, of course, Roy Bayfield. They’ve also managed to get answers from Google and their data provider Tele Atlas.  Google’s spokesman said:

“While the vast majority of this information is correct there are occasional errors. We’re constantly working to improve the quality and accuracy of the information available in Google Maps and appreciate our users’ feedback in helping us do so. People can report an issue to the data provider directly and this will be updated at a later date.”

Ah yes, report the fault… that’d be what we’ve done on several occasions without success and may be the reason why Google have decided to take corrections into their own – or more accurately the user’s own – hands.  It seems that drawing the attention of a national newspaper has caused Tele Atlas to pull their finger out:

“Mistakes like this are not common, and I really can’t explain why these anomalies get into our database.”

Let’s try a bit harder, shall we… is it because there is no process for checking data before it’s added?  Is it because you’ve chosen not to buy additional sources of data to verify against? Is it because your error reporting procedure is so poor that 13 months later it’s still in the database?  No?

For Google, errors like these are annoying.  They recently announced Google Maps Navigation for Android 2.0 offering turn-by-turn directions similar to Tom Tom and other devices but for free.  Accuracy of maps and the ability to keep them up to date will be one of the big selling points.

But time may be nearly up for Argleton “A spokesman [for Tele Atlas] said it would now wipe the non-existent town from the map.”

Update: Mister Roy appeared on Radio 5live’s The Weekend News (starts at 25 minutes).

Tracking the interweb

A comment on my last post from a journalist at the Essex Chronicle got me thinking. Obviously he’s using Google Alerts to track topics of interest, in that case possibly “World Scout Jamboree” or maybe “Chelmsford” or “Hylands Park” (hello if this triggers the alert again!). I know other journalists do this too – I wonder if the Ormskirk Advertiser[1] pick up on what we say online…?

Back to the point I was going to make! What tools do we use in Higher Education to help us better track what goes on online? I have a few Google Alerts of my own, but non for work use at the moment. I track interesting sites using RSS feeds and I monitor Technorati for people posting about Edge Hill – what do other people do? Is it part of our role in Web Services to track everything online, or should we be showing others some of the tools to monitor the internet for themselves?

I’ve just subscribed to an alert on “Edge Hill University”. Let’s see how much my inbox gets flooded!

Update: make sure you’re specific about alerts – I originally subscribed to Edge Hill University without the quotes and two out of three notifications weren’t anything to do with Edge Hill.

[1] icNetwork is currently broken – why is it always so slow?!