One of the issues we run into fairly regularly is our Store Locator Plus® customers get no locations back when they search for a city where they know they do, in fact, have locations. Recently this came up with a customer that was searching Kansas City. If they type Kansas City, MO or Kansas City, KS the would see their locations. So what was going on?

Kansas City – November 2018

Way back in November 2018, Google Maps decided that Kansas City was at 39.0119, -98.48424

We’re not in Kansas City anymore…

Kansas City, November 2018

Kansas City – January 2019

Today, performing the very same address search for Kansas City yields a completely different result. Today Kansas City is in a far more reasonable location at 39.0997265, -94.5785667

Kansas City, January 2019

What Is Going On?

Both location requests pass the same URL to Google Maps JavaScript API with the region and language set properly. Google, however, likes to change their map data sets and lookup algorithms frequently. This is just one more specific case where historical evidence shows that Google Map locations move — at least with the “purposefully lower quality” data set provided via the Maps JavaScript API.

In years of testing we’ve found that some locations move by as much as a quarter-mile EVERY MONTH. It is the inherent “jitter” Google seems to have built into their published maps data. You may even find that if you search Google Maps for Kansas City today it has already moved from the above location.

Their own map service puts it here: 39.0915821,-94.8565881

Google Maps.com — where is Kansas City

Which happens to be pretty darn close to what Open Street Maps is telling us at 39.094, -94.537 — a service we use to cross-reference data on our MySLP service.

Want Kansas City To Stay Put?

MySLP uses an aggregate data set from multiple providers and is constantly refined by user input and our customer service staff to provide more accurate results. Unlike Google – our MySLP users CAN get better results and email real human beings that can fix location data NOW.

Leave a Reply