Saturday 16 December 2017

Looking for Doneraile? Well, so is Google

Google gaff is not fiction for local tourism - or minister

The two Donerailes
The two Donerailes


LOOKING for Doneraile? So is Google. The internet giant has been left red-faced after it was revealed that its popular Google Maps service has been directing users looking to go to the North Cork village to a location some 60km away outside Macroom.

IT is the best of times and the worst of times for the people of one north Cork village who find themselves featuring on Google's hugely popular web mapping service - not once, but twice.

No records exist of any address of that name in the Macroom location and the glitch has already been blamed for Minister Brian Hayes' late appearance at the opening of Doneraile's Tea Rooms last September.

A local development group says it has brought the error to Google's attention.

Eagle-eyed Corkman readers have noticed that when "Doneraile" is typed into Google Maps, the service does not show the village north of Mallow, but a location 60km away that lies somewhere between Macroom and Millstreet.

While the north Cork village, famous for its history, park and tea rooms, does feature on Google Maps, it plays second fiddle to the mysterious Mid-Cork location that shows up when the place name is searched.

Macroom Area County Councillor Aindrias Moynihan this week told The Corkman that he was unaware of any Doneraile townland or address in that area, and said that the so-called 'Mid Cork Doneraile' does not show up on a check of local maps and the electoral register.

Furthermore, a Government minister was late to the official opening of the tea rooms last September because of the directions given on Google Maps, according to Michael O'Sullivan of the Doneraile Development Association,

"We've told Google about this before. When Minister [of State at the OPW] Brian Hayes came to open the tea rooms last September he ended up in Macroom because of Google's directions," Mr O'Sullivan said, adding that the problem will become even more of an issue if it is not addressed by the time the village launches its major tourism drive.

"We haven't moved to promote the area nationally yet, we will hit all media in time, but for now we are building our numbers and infrastructure over the next year to 18 months. But at that point it will become an issue, and we've already raised it with Google," he said.

Local Innovation Minister Seán Sherlock says it is an issue that Google must address.

"I have a Book of Irish Townlands and there's no sign of the Doenraile on it. We need to get this sorted as it does impact on visitors from outside Ireland who have a particular interest in visiting Doneraile for it's heritage footprint," he said.

A spokesperson for the internet giant told The Corkman that updates to the service allows the public to highlight any problems.

"Google Maps now also has a facility built within it for users to notify us of changes to be made or report a problem to help improve accuracy," the spokesperson for Google said.


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