On the same day as a major study was released predicting 200 feet of sea level rise in a worst-case climate change scenario, bits of Southern California coastal cities began to appear underwater on Google Maps. Venice, Malibu, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach are among the casualties. Their virtual watery demise was a just a glitch, Google Maps communications specialist Mara Harris said Friday afternoon, and may have something to do with the multiple streams of data Google pulls from to make their maps.
“The various types of data found in Google Maps come from a wide range of sources. Our basemap data – things like ocean, road networks, and place names comes from a combination of third-party providers, public sources, and user contributions,” she said via email. “Overall, this provides a very comprehensive and up-to-date map, but there are occasional inaccuracies that arise from any of those sources.” Read more.