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Nonprofit alerts on Google Maps and climbs mountains




If you’ve navigated using Google Maps while driving, you’ll probably find it very reliable, unless it’s very unreliable. Maybe it suggests that you turn left where left turns are prohibited. Maybe it suggests you pull 180 in the middle of the highway. In any case, you can easily see when the app may be working with limited information and adjust your trip accordingly. You are not guided to the brick wall at high speed.

But what if the app in question does something just as insecure? That’s what many mountaineering groups claim to be. According to a new report by The Guardian, John Muir Trust has issued a warning about the app’s suggested route to climb Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK.

The immediate problem here seems to be that Google is directing some users to the Upper Falls parking lot near the top of the mountain. Is there a problem there? It is dangerous to walk from there to the summit.

“The line is very steep, rocky and passes through roadless terrain. Even with good visibility, it’s difficult to find a safe line,” said Heather Morning of Mountaineering Scotland. “With the addition of low clouds and rain, the proposed Google line is potentially deadly.”

Nature maintenance officials explained that they saw “a group of inexperienced pedestrians” taking routes that were not suitable for reaching the top of the mountain.

Nonprofits have raised similar issues with other Scottish mountains. When asked to comment, a Google spokesman said, “We are building Google Maps with safety and reliability in mind and are working swiftly to investigate Ben Nevis’ routing issues. I answered.

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