Online Mapping Scrambles after Tanker Spill

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The recent disaster that melted a critical portion of San Francisco’s highway infrastructure had more than just commuters scrambling. Within two days, many of the major online mapping sites had modified their driving directions to circumvent the now closed overpass. Rachel Konrad from the Associated Press reported that:

Yahoo took nearly 39 hours to suggest new routes. Google Maps was updated late Monday night. MapQuest Inc., a subsidiary of Time Warner’s AOL, began suggesting detours late Tuesday night.

While not exactly real-time and up to the minute, the hasty scramble to update the maps to reflect real world conditions is a promising sign as mapping companies work to respond quickly to events that affect commutes.

“I’d say overall we were very successful — we fixed the routing but didn’t break anything in the process,” Yahoo Maps director Jeremy Kreitler said Wednesday. “This has been an interesting challenge — an example of how we put into practice our attempts to provide real-time traffic information.”

Read more at Online maps updated after highway disaster

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