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Demolition Company Demolishes The Wrong Home Due To A Google Maps Glitch

Hutchinson Demo

The Historic Hutchinson house at 5292 Riverside Drive was demolished by developer today 11/20/2013. The city of Upper Arlington plans to build a memorial wall out of the stones sometime in the future. (Columbus Dispatch photo by Tom Dodge )

While Google Maps is a powerful tool that everybody uses for accurate navigation purposes, it does have a few mistakes in between. This mapping error was in Texas where two adjacent houses had the same address displayed on Google Maps. It made a demolition company commit the ultimate error possible; demolishing the wrong building. Here is the Google Maps/Earth view of the two structures:

The homeowner was furious as hell and would probably be breathing down the necks of the demolition company and Google itself, but these kinds of errors are expected in a database so huge. If there is any consolation, the owner wasn’t in the house when it was being demolished, and it had also been damaged by a recent tornado, just not the same extent as the neighbouring house which was the one earmarked for demolition. This one only needed medium level repair work, and this rubble is all that remains of the poor building.  Now both of these houses have been demolished, and the whole event could have been avoided if the demolition gang had double-checked the address of their house with the local population and not be in such a hurry. Technology can be relied upon, but not entirely I am afraid!

And about the house owner, don’t worry about him as there will probably some kind of compensation for him from the demolition company. For us engineers, we sometimes do realise the conflict between trusting technology and our own gut. Shit happens.

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