Recently Google has been heavily criticized for directing relatively treacherous routes to people navigating. A Scottish mountaineering group panned Google after discovering that it had been offering “potentially fatal” routes up mountains — and even directly over cliffs.
According to a Scottish mountain conservation charity, John Muir Trust, Google had proposed somewhat hazardous routes to Ben Nevis (Scotland’s highest mountain). The group also says that it suggested a distinct route for the An Teallach mountain, which directs you to go over a cliff, reported by The Press Association.
“The problem is that Google Maps directs some visitors to the Upper Falls car park, presumably because it is the closest car park to the summit,” said Nathan Berrie, a conservation officer at John Muir Trust, to the Press Association. “But this is not the correct route, and we often come across groups of inexperienced walkers heading towards Steam Falls or up the south slopes of Ben Nevis believing it is the route to the summit.”
According to the specialists, even the most ambitious and skilled hikers would hesitate to go in the directions suggested by Google Maps.
“[When] you input Ben Nevis and click on the ‘car’ icon, up pops a map of your route, taking you to the car park at the head of Glen Nevis, followed by a dotted line appearing to show a route to the summit,” said Heather Morning, a mountain safety adviser for Mountaineering Scotland, to the Press Association.
She continued, “Even the most experienced mountaineer would have difficulty following this route. The line goes through very steep, rocky, and pathless terrain where even in good visibility, it would be challenging to find a safe line. Add in low cloud and rain, and the suggested Google line is potentially fatal.”
The John Muir Trust apparently tried contacting Google regarding the matter but did not hear from the company for many days.
At last, a Google spokesperson recently released a statement saying, “We built Google Maps with safety and reliability in mind, and we are working quickly to investigate the routing issue on Ben Nevis.”
There might be a chance that Google fixed the issue as it cannot afford to slander itself in the industry.
Undoubtedly technology has made our lives simpler and better; however, there is still a chance of blunder. Therefore, you must check twice when relying on such apps, especially when you’re on precarious mountain adventures.