Google Maps Shows Users “Potentially Fatal” Route on Ben Nevis

In this May 2000 file photograph, sheep graze at the base of Ben Nevis in Scotland.

In this May 2000 file {photograph}, sheep graze on the base of Ben Nevis in Scotland.
Photo: Lisa Marie Pane (AP)

A number of years in the past, as an alternative of main my greatest pal and I by means of a beautiful and picturesque Spanish mountain path, Google Maps took us to an remoted area with some cows. While I realized then not belief the web in terms of nature, it seems that an growing variety of guests to the Scottish mountain Ben Nevis proceed to take action, which might endanger their lives.

In current days, the United Kingdom conservation charity John Muir Trust and Mountaineering Scotland, the nationwide consultant physique for mountaineering, hillwalking, climbing, and snow sports activities touring, have warned that mountaineering routes to Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest mountain at 4,412 ft (1,345 meters), supplied by mapping apps might put folks in danger. The organizations particularly cited a route being supplied on Google Maps, which directs customers to a carpark on the head of Glen Nevis.

The app proceeds to show a dotted line that seems to indicate the trail to the highest of the mountain, in accordance with the John Muir Trust and Mountaineering Scotland. They acknowledged that this path seems relying on how somebody searches for the route, noting that it pops up when customers click on on the automotive choice in Google Maps.

“Even the most experienced mountaineer would have difficulty following this route,” Heather Morning, Mountaineering Scotland’s mountain security adviser, mentioned in a news statement. “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.”

Gizmodo reached out to Google for remark on the route being proven to the highest of Ben Nevis however didn’t obtain a response by the point of publication. We additionally reached out to Apple to ask if Apple Maps was displaying the identical or related harmful routes. Gizmodo will replace this weblog if we hear again from both Google or Apple.

In a statement to CNN on Friday, a Google spokesperson mentioned the corporate was inspecting the routing difficulty on Ben Nevis and surrounding areas. On Saturday, the corporate advised Yahoo News UK that it was updating its driving routes to take folks on to the mountain’s customer middle, which is the place the official route begins.

“Our driving directions currently route people to the Nevis Gorge trailhead parking lot—the lot closest to the summit—which has prominent signs indicating that the trail is highly dangerous and for advanced hikers only,” a Google spokeswoman mentioned. “To help both novice and experienced hikers more easily find trails that suit their level of expertise, we’re now updating our driving routes to take people directly to the visitor centre, where they’ll be able to speak with staff about the best trail to take.”

The firm added that it welcomed suggestions from mountaineering teams.

Apparently, Ben Nevis isn’t the one mountain the place Google Maps reveals perilous routes. Mountaineering Scotland claims {that a} route provided by Google to the mountain An Teallach within the nation “would take people over a cliff.” 

Morning mentioned that many individuals who go to Ben Nevis don’t know the place to get dependable info and consider that Google Maps, which acquired them from their dwelling to the foot of the mountain, may also take them to the highest. This isn’t the case, although.

“It’s all too easy these days to assume that information on the internet is all good stuff, correct, up to date and safe,” she mentioned. “Sadly, experience shows this is not the case and there have been a number of incidents recently where following routes downloaded off the internet have resulted in injury or worse.”

The John Muir Trust and Mountaineering Scotland really useful that folks pondering of mountaineering up Ben Nevis or every other mountain or hill cross examine the data on a map (one not named Google). In addition, the organizations identified that people can seek the advice of a neighborhood information.

Considering that Google Maps would have despatched my greatest pal and I additional up, as an alternative of down, our mountain after the cow incident had it not been for a useful stranger, I second that recommendation.

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