March 16, 2009

Scottish village an Internet non-entity

Officials in a Scottish village of about 600 people say hometown businesses are suffering due to slights from satellite navigation systems and Google Maps.

Tarbert officials said motorists driving to and from a nearby ferry terminal to Islay are being directed by their global positioning systems to take a back road that bypasses the village, The Scotsman reported Monday.

This is a concern for traders, but it's also a concern for people living on that Glenralloch back road; it is a single track road and was never designed as a road to bypass Tarbert. It was a road for people going to the village of Kilberry and it used to be a nice, quiet road, with virtually no traffic, said Ian MacIntyre, chairman of Mid Argyll Chamber of Commerce.

Officials said the problem is compounded by the village's absence from Google Maps. In the spot where the village should be, the online maps instead identify a village called Carse -- a name MacIntyre said he has never heard.

Tele Atlas, the main map supplier for Google, intends to investigate the village's complaints, said the company's European press officer, Sandra Van Hauwaert.