Google Maps error loses tourists

An error in the widely used map system sends hundreds seeking Preikestolen to a quiet village

Photo: Stefan Krause / Wikimedia Commons
Somewhere on the other side of the fjord, a lost tourist is cursing Google Maps.

The Local

An error in Google Maps has sent hundreds of tourists looking for the famous Preike­stolen cliff formation on a narrow, winding detour ending in the village of Foss­mork.

Although the famous cliff formation in the Lysefjord can be seen from the village, it is 30 kilometers away from the path that leads to the famous site of photo opportunities.

“We have sent hundreds of tourists away in no uncertainty that they’re on the wrong side of the fjord. In the summer season up to 10 or 15 cars show up each day,” Helge Fossmark told newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad, adding that there can be minibuses lining up outside the village on summer days.

The road leading to the village is described as “terrible” by Stavanger Aftenblad.

Another village resident, Gunnar Bøe, said that he is also visited by confused tourists. “When we are in the cabin, sometimes two, three, four, or five tourists come in. Every day. They say they are going to Preike­stolen and understand nothing. Google Maps leads them over the Lysefjord bridge and into Fossmork. The road here is quite narrow and they sometimes get quite upset when we tell them to go back.

“They borrow a set of binoculars and can see all the people up on Preikestolen. It’s quite funny. We get to speak with Chinese and Japanese people, and there was an American who wanted to buy a cabin,” Bøe told the newspaper.

Roy Jarle Johansen of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration said that he would look into the issue, reports newspaper Aftenposten.

“I think we should make sure people are shown the right direction, when it is such a well-visited place. Road signs do not always solve the problem. Some people trust Google more,” Johansen said.

Google said that it appreciates feedback that enables it to improve its service. “We are constantly working to improve Google Maps and encourage people to report any problems they find, so that we can make sure we resolve the issue as soon as possible,” Helle Skjervold of Google Norway told Aftenposten via email.

This article was originally published on The Local.

It also appeared in the May 19, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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