If you are in North America you may be asking where is Toronto, Ontario. Depending whom you ask, the answer can be slightly different. It turns out that asking Google Maps Canada yields a different answer than if you pose the same question via Google Maps API.
We’ve touched on this disparity in a prior post about Google Maps returning inaccurate results. Today we’ll discuss a specific example for Toronto, Ontario.
And if you are wondering — our vote is that Toronto, Ontario is at
Google does not openly advertise the fact that they have different location data for different users. However there is good anecdotal evidence an hearsay that Google Maps API returning inaccurate results may be by design.
The evidence is most prevalent in the geocoding of locations. The latitude and longitude Google assigns to different addresses is not “set in stone”. It is an interesting anomaly given the fact that places on earth should not move with regard to their latitude & longitude outside of plate tectonics.
The team at Store Locator Plus® has long held a theory that Google intentionally subverts accurate location data; quite likely to gain competitive advantage for their own products and services.
Security Through Anonymity
Prior to Store Locator Plus® 5, every time a user visited your map page and typed in an address to be searched — typically the zip code for their town or their home address, this request was sent directly to Google. That means Google now has all kinds of great information they are going to store about your site visitors. They know that the user visited your site, when they visited, that they were looking at your location map, and the address where they were looking for your shop.