December 11, 2006

Did Google Maps lead the Kims astray?

After my earlier post, I was going to let the James Kim tragedy rest. But I came across two more interesting items.

A Seattle Times article asks if Google Maps led the Kim family down the wrong road. See also the Times tech-blogger, Brier Dudley, who writes,

The message is you can only put so much faith in online map services. The free services can still be pretty crude, especially when you get outside of metro areas where the services have the most customers.

What I'd like to know is whether police asked Google about the Kims' last map searches. Police checked to see when the family last made cellphone calls and used credit cards. Why couldn't they also learn from Google that the family used Google Maps to plot their ill-fated drive through the mountains? They could have checked with the handful of major map services pretty quickly

But another blogger did use mapping technology to re-create the routes.

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