Google Maps goof hurting the town of Stanley

Google Maps goof hurting Stanley.

STANLEY, IDAHO - A small Idaho town is in a battle with tech giant Google.

The city of Stanley says the company's map application is broken and it's sending visitors away.

Stanley residents thought it may be this year's high water or spring weather that's put a damper on business.

"It's been kind of a little bit of a ghost town," said Riverwear owner Erin Wilson.

But, after taking call after call, the city found out it was something else.

"They call in and ask what's happening with the road," said K-Lene Kuhn, who works at the visitors center.

That's because when you look up Stanley on Google Maps, what comes up is a nearly four-hour route through Sun Valley that essentially goes around the town.

"Due to that some people might choose not to come," said Wilson.

There’s only one problem, Google is wrong. Their map shows Highway 21, the most direct route to Stanley from the Boise area, is currently closed.

However, KTVB drove the highway today with no slow down or stops.

"The highway is open," Stanley Mayor Herb Mumford said.

In the winter, an avalanche did close down the highway, but it has since reopened.

Over the last few months, Mayor Mumford has been working to get the problem fixed on Google Maps with no resolution.

"Our tolerance is long gone. Our patience is long gone. We're talking about months that have gone by," Mayor Mumford said.

After months of phone calls and emails to Google, Mumford has reached wit’s end.

"I have offered to speak directly with Larry Page, that offer still stands open, he needs to know how far broken his company is," Mumford said.

The city is worried that if the problem is not fixed soon, it could break them.

"It's affecting our business in the community hugely," said Mayor Mumford.

Businesses like Riverwear along Highway 21, whose sales have dropped by double-digits.

"Between like 10 to 15 percent decrease from past June's," said Wilson.

A highway that is open and a lifeline to this town.

"Specifically for the businesses in the community," said Mayor Mumford.

KTVB did reach out to Google for a response on this story. They have not yet gotten back to us.

If you have questions about a route, you can head to our website, click on the traffic tab, and check out the road reports.

© 2018 KTVB-TV


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