View Full Version : Do internet mapping services locate your farm accurately?

Jan. 15, 2010, 07:11 PM
Or do they place you a quarter of a mile away or on the wrong road altogether? I'm a quarter of a mile away in most programs but they send people past my house so they get here without too much trouble. I've been to visit a farm on "Blank Road" and gotten sent to a spot on "Blank Ridge Road", three miles away, made us a little late for our appointment.

So how accurate is the internet for finding your farm?

Jan. 15, 2010, 07:29 PM
They and GPS' send people to the other end of my (long) road and into the middle of an empty field.

Jan. 15, 2010, 07:34 PM
I'd say that most do not. Certainly not mine at any rate. Backroads mapping is pretty much hit or miss. There are semi-developed parts of VA agrarian counties that aren't on anyone's maps apart from the local townships.

Jan. 15, 2010, 07:59 PM
Nope, none of them (I tried them all). So I tell folks that if they are using a GPS, not to count on it, and I give them directions instead. And I am not even on a backroad! My issue is that my road "changes names" at the midway point from NW to NE, so the mapping sites always take folks to the house with the same number on the NE side, and I am on the NW side.

And my husband's GPS has taken us to more back gates of apartment complexes than I care to say!

Ridge Runner
Jan. 15, 2010, 08:09 PM
Google earth and all others are off for my farm also...about 3/4 of a mile too soon.

Jan. 15, 2010, 08:24 PM
If you locate your place on Google Earth you can copy the correct co-ordinates.

Jan. 15, 2010, 08:46 PM
So EqB, are you suggesting that I describe my property by lat. and long. to prospective visitors? That should certainly get them to the precise spot. Or get them to decide I'm too much trouble to bother with, LOL.

Jan. 15, 2010, 08:53 PM
It's just my house/little farm-to-be but google maps pinpoints my location as about EIGHT miles away. Seriously. We're not even really that far out in the boonies.

Jan. 15, 2010, 08:55 PM
Oh yeah... worst part is that I live on a US Hwy, so you'd think it would be easier. Luckily our property borders a small county road so by mapping US Hwy 123 and Co. Rd. 456 you get the exact location. Funny thing is even then it lists us as the wrong city.

Jan. 15, 2010, 08:59 PM
So EqB, are you suggesting that I describe my property by lat. and long. to prospective visitors? That should certainly get them to the precise spot. Or get them to decide I'm too much trouble to bother with, LOL.

It's a lot less complicated than an address that gets you to the wrong place !

Jan. 15, 2010, 11:12 PM
True, EqB. I can get the lat. long. for any place off the hyperlink on the google map. I don't seem to be able get lat. long. to work in something like Yahoo or Mapquest - they need a street based address and a lot of people use those for the route planning features.

To make this more horse related I guess if I ever intended to put up a horse farm website or print ads it might be a good idea to create my own map page with directions from some clear point like the freeway offramp.

Tom King
Jan. 16, 2010, 08:33 AM
See my "location" above. Some maps have roads coming into our farm, like into the middle of the dressage arena, that don't exist and have never existed. Garmin has our address as 450 instead of 503 but it's pretty close. There is no 450 so most can figure it out as they drive past our house.

Jan. 16, 2010, 09:01 AM
Depends on the service. Google is pretty accurate (within about 50 feet). Bing is way off (it has our driveway as a public road about 1/4 mile away).

There must be at least two "master map databases" as I see differences not only between Bing and Google but also between GPS devices.


Jan. 16, 2010, 09:16 AM
I've only checked my property on two web maps...Live Search Maps and the National Geographic one. Both are dead-on accurate for my property.
Although in my area where so many properties are back lots...in a heavily wooded area...you get the right location but still can't see the properties on many places. Because the GPS locates each poperty by pinpointing the driveway entrance off the street. And then will only pan about 2000-3000 feet in each direction. So you either see just tree tops or a driveway because the house and barn might be 4000' from the road.
I have noticed that in my area the satellite photos of the "bird's eye" view are done in late fall or winter, after the leaves are off the trees. Which makes viewing much easier.
The ones of my property are about 5-5.5 years old. I can pinpoint the date the photo was taken within 6 months because you can see the SUV I used to have parked near the house...and I only owned that for a short time after we moved here.

Jan. 16, 2010, 12:41 PM
We have quite a few disgruntled customers who could not find our place first time out because we were located several miles away on the map.

Jan. 16, 2010, 01:15 PM
We live on a loop road and they all show us on the complete wrong side of the loop. To make matters worse, that farm is owned by a horse trader who breeds garbage and the place looks like crap.

I repeatedly tell people not to use the online directions, but, for some reason, they still do. Go figure.

Jan. 16, 2010, 02:06 PM
it's hit or miss with us.

some of the GPS devices can get folks here, but some will try to send them over a mountain on a private road that has NEVER been a thru road. other's will send them through the next hollow, which takes them through a very windy area that alternates between gravel and pavement, although it will eventually get you here.

i just tell folks i'll give them directions (which are hideously easy, since we live 2 turns and 3 miles from the country's only 5 star inn & restaurant).

Jan. 16, 2010, 02:27 PM
The directions will get you here, but they may take a bunch of terrible, windy single lane dirt roads.

When I have a horse for sale, I always tell people to please follow the directions I send them as the GPS directions are going to take longer.

A fair number of them don't listen, and are late.

Doesn't matter to me, I warned them.

Jan. 16, 2010, 02:54 PM
Google maps send people to the end of my road. Then they have them turn the wrong way into a neighbour's rose garden...

Most of the GPS services seem to get people here OK.

Jan. 16, 2010, 04:23 PM
I put in my place Google maps and it came out pretty accurately.

Jan. 16, 2010, 04:27 PM
Does it look as scary on Google Earth as it does in real life?

Jan. 16, 2010, 04:29 PM
If I Google my boarding barn's address, it's way, way off, but if I put the barn name in, it comes up correctly. And this is a relatively small farm (16 stalls) - go figure.

All of you in northern VA - I have to laugh. When I was there for 2 weeks this summer I had an off-brand GPS that is about 5 years old, and can't be updated. It also doesn't have the option to "avoid unpaved roads" like my Garmin does...I went down a very, very scary road late one night, and was really hoping I would come out the other side :eek:

Jan. 16, 2010, 06:28 PM
I can't tell you how many times I've had this conversation:

Me: Let me give you directions to our farm
Potential Client/Plumber/Delivery Person: Oh, just give me the address, I can use internet mapping service/my GPS/whatever
Me: I'd prefer to give you directions, as most of those services direct you to a locked gate 4 miles past our place.

Better yet, there is a private farm on an out-of-the-way dirt road a few miles from here that always gives me a chuckle when I drive past. The sign by their driveway reads, "ATTENTION GPS USERS: This is NOT the way to the Santa Fe Plaza or xxxx Restaurant". Apparently this little road has been getting a lot of very confused tourist traffic. It's about 30 miles from the Santa Fe Plaza :eek:

Jan. 16, 2010, 10:45 PM
What is even worse is that the police and fire departments are also relying on this unreliable technology. One night a few months ago, there was a cruiser in my driveway, with the officer in the drivers seat with his laptop trying to find an address/house, the mapping took him in our general area. Someone's home alarm had been reported as going off, and the police could not find the house. I still don't know if he found it.

Jan. 17, 2010, 12:00 AM
Well, supposedly fire and rescue used to do something called AreaFam, which meant familiarization, so they would drive around the neighborhoods learning streets etc.. Uses gas though, costs extra money, so not happening in many jurisdictions.

I plugged my address into one program last night and it put me precisely at my driveway - plugged in a friend's farm and probably three miles off. Map books are terribly innaccurate in some areas, like showing streets that were filed in some subdivision that went bust and never got put in, and that is probably where the programmers are getting the info to plug into their programs.
As a private farm I'm not sure I want to put up a big sign at the head of my driveway, even though we've named the place. I have no clue how the layup place down the street gets any business either, unless they give really good directions - they have neither a sign nor a street number.

Jan. 17, 2010, 01:27 PM
Thanks to the county morons who decided we should have a ridiculous Big City 911 addressing system, all of our little township roads that USED to have actual NAMES so that just about anybody could direct you there now have generic street/avenue/place/lane numbers.

I'm on XXX PLACE. The internet maps insist on displaying XXX LANE -- three townships away (which is even more "out in the boonies").