The Fake Neighborhoods on Google Maps

By | January 17, 2020

This video was made possible by Brilliant. Start learning with Brilliant for 20% off
by being one of the first 200 to sign up at If you’re from San Francisco there’s a
few things you’ve probably never heard of: toast without avocados, three figure rent,
republicans, and the East Cut neighborhood. If you go on Google Maps though and search
for East Cut it’ll tell you that’s this neighborhood between Market Street and the
Bay Bridge even though, before a year ago, nobody had even tried to call this area the
East Cut. Nowadays, however, the “East Cut” name
is seeping into the real world all thanks to the world’s benevolent dictator—Google. Now of course Google is amazing and lovely
and I don’t mean to be critical at all of such a fantastic organization but they do
have a certain amount of power over, well, everything. More than half of the world’s smartphone
users have used Google Maps in the past month and, considering that there are 2.5 billion
smartphone users in the world, that’s a lot. Google Maps is the most popular mapping service
in the world and that means that when someone wants to figure out what something is, they
check Google Maps. Quite bafflingly, the benevolent dictator
almost almost started a war in 2010. You see, where Nicaragua and Costa Rica meet
on the Atlantic Ocean Nicaragua believes the border to be this while Costa Rica believes
it to be this. In 2010 a Nicaraguan military troop was sent
to the area to do dredging work on the San Juan River. While there, though, the troop just happened
to meander onto Calero Island which, as far as Costa Rica was concerned, was Costa Rica. Now, having a foreign military strut into
your country with no prior warning doesn’t look great. It looks a whole lot like an invasion so Costa
Rica, being, interestingly, the most populous country in the world without a military, sent
70 police officers to make sure that this wasn’t the beginning of the Nicaraguan annexation
of Costa Rica. In response, Nicaragua sent an additional
50 troops and the two parties sort of just had a stand off while the two country’s
leaders had a discussion. As it turned out, the few dozen troops that
entered Costa Rica had no intentions to singlehandedly overthrow a country of five million. Their commander was just using Google Maps
to navigate which showed the border as this. Costa Rica then went to the International
Court of Justice, and complained and then, after years of back and forth, the court ruled
that this area was in fact Costa Rica and so now Google Maps shows it as Costa Rica
and Nicaragua lays off the invasions. Unfortunately Apple missed the opportunity
to create a great Apple Maps ad. Google Maps does try more or less to follow
what people say places are but sometimes some people disagree on what a thing is. For example, some say New Zealand, other say
“where?” Some say Machias Seal Island is part of Canada,
other say it’s part of the US so if you search it on Google it won’t tell you which
country it is like it does for the rest of the US or Canada. It’ll do the same if you look at a town
in Western Sahara, Kashmir, the South China Sea, or any other disputed territory. But perhaps the biggest issue for Google Maps
is what to call neighborhoods. You see, in most cases, neighborhood names
aren’t official—they’re just decided through what people colloquially call places. People just refer to this area in San Francisco
as Russian Hill or this area Telegraph Hill, this area Jackson Hill, and at least a few
people call this area the East Cut. In 2015, you see, an organization was founded
to improve what was then called Rincon Hill. For some inexplicable reason they decided
they needed a rebranding and they settled on the neighborhood name “the East Cut.” They updated street signs and their website
and everything but still, when asked, the mayor of San Francisco said he had never heard
of the neighborhood. Lucky for the East Cut organization, one of
their board members just happened to work at Google, whose offices are in the East Cut,
and, according to the New York Times in an article about this debacle, was able to persuade
the company to switch the name which is the most San Francisco story ever. Some neighborhood names on Google Maps are
even more baffling, though. In Detroit Google Maps refers to this area
as “the Eye” even though really nobody has ever referred to this area by that name. A blogger did some detective work and was
able to figure out that Google Maps copied the neighborhood names from a map that some
random website published in 2003. Google Maps even copied the misspellings from
that map. As it turns out, “the Eye” was the name
of a community watch organization in the area so there were signs around the area saying
“the Eye” and somewhere along the line someone got confused and assumed it was the
neighborhood name. Still today that name shows up on Google Maps
and, if you really want, you can search and buy real estate in the prestigious Eye neighborhood. In true Detroit fashion, houses start at $8,000. Nobody’s really sure exactly how Google
determines neighborhood names but, once they do, that name essentially becomes official. According to Google Maps Machias Seal island
is both Canada and the US at the same time but you know what’s also two things at once—Quantum
objects since, thanks to Quantum superposition, these particles can be in two or more quantum
states at the same time. This is what Schrodinger’s Cat is about—it’s
like if a cat was both dead and alive at the same time. Quantum mechanics is like magic that’s happening
in our world right now and it’s sort of complicated but Brilliant is the expert in
teaching super complex things in an understandable way. If you take their quantum objects course you’ll
go away knowing what only specialized physicists understand. Of course Brilliant has plenty of other great
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100 thoughts on “The Fake Neighborhoods on Google Maps

  1. Markus Staudt Post author

    His videos have 3 sponsor plugs per video. Gross

  2. chazz Lucas Post author

    lol…. You think Google has some kind power ? .. Wow really ?
    Half as Interesting …. Google couldn't make an updated to their own search engine without consulting their mommy : (

  3. tfc 343 Post author

    still don't know what a neighbourhood is

  4. Saibal Republic Post author

    I'm not making this up but the neighborhood that I live in is actually named after me , Saibal Republic. After all I edited it on Google Maps.

  5. Nothing Post author

    $8,000 for a house? Jeez, even a run down shack would cost $200,000 or more here. Much more for a decent house up to $1 million for something middle class.

  6. BigYeeter 6969 Post author

    You never hear of Republicans in cali😂😂😂😂

  7. julia koz Post author

    anyone else notice that the neighborhood on the thumbnail is a reference to his old channel, “wendover productions”

  8. Sam Labo Post author

    My cat is dead and alive
    But some day he will be just dead

  9. Radagast49230 Post author

    Forget them adding names to places. There are lots of roads that Google Maps are sure exist, but don't, or conversely roads that have existed for decades but don't show up on Google Maps.

  10. The Eaglesperch Post author

    There is a neighborhood in my city named after a pharmacy… wtf

  11. ThyRubyKing Post author

    "Some people say New Zealand and some people said what?.


  12. catastrophic temperamental Post author

    Lol. The ad transition was smooth…

  13. Jonny Blade Post author

    PBS Space Time is also good at explaining quantum mechanics

  14. hityouwithacoustic Post author

    China is confucius .-.Get an eyeful of this travel warp !
    If you started here -> 22°32′13.33″N113°58′9.51″E  
    and travelled in a straight line, here  -> 30°23′6.72″N 120°14′36.60″E
    You would now be at the same building you left from ..totally cray but true!!

    …So you better go here -> to stretch and rest your legs..

  15. peterhoz Post author

    Google maps cause a lot of problems, especially for emergency services, who use official addresses and not google's fictitious ones. This has resulted in people calling 000 (911, 999, etc) and relaying a fictitious/erroneous address, and thus not being able to be found and saved/helped. In some cases, they have died due to this.

  16. The Rem Master Post author

    In canada there is no nabourhoods only towns citys and rapidly declining money.

  17. Max Post author

    Everybody get ecosia, it’s a search engine that plants trees

  18. UeUeUdk Post author

    Why the fuck are all of your videos sponsored

  19. Jazzy jt Post author

    Unidentified Male driver and a great way for people who have a

  20. Mike Scarborough Post author

    And I thought that Google Earth was just the name of an app. Google has actually changed the name of our planet!

  21. Marc Harrison Post author

    I hate the way you advertise. But love the content you put before you sneak in the ad.

  22. Vi Gd Post author

    No one using apple maps. Its slow update, its seems their dev not living in the earth.

  23. J Tau Post author

    … When you suddenly realise you live in a fake neighbourhood… Welcome to the twilight zone 😂😂😂

  24. James Angius Post author

    I feel comfortable shortening that to “some people disagree”
    I mean, when it comes down to it “some people” or fuck it, even just “people”. At least for the last 10,000 years or so.

  25. Spade Post author

    For some reason when I press the video, it shows the thumbnail of TimTom' s "Arresting A Guy at VidCon"

  26. TheRealFrost Post author


  27. Keith W Post author

    What Is this Google maps that you speak of ? Only use a compass and my innate sense of direction….(umm yah) …because I am man, and I ask directions from NO one…lmfao..

  28. Jaime Brown Post author

    I actually have a case of this in my hometown of Rowland Heights, California. In my hometown there is supposed to be a small neighbourhood named Otterbein, named after Otterbein Avenue, but nobody has ever heard of calling that area Otterbein. The so-called neighbourhood is quite small too, only covering about three blocks off the intersection of Colima and Otterbein.

  29. Turkey Tango Gaming Post author

    Agloe: do I exist?
    (Movie): Now ya do!
    *Beatosu, Goblu, East Cut, Telegraph Hill, Carmine, Argleton and Russian Hill Get Jealous

    Agloe: What?

  30. Papi Pride05 Post author

    Machias seal island is actually pronounced Ma-ch-eye-as

  31. Zhi Han Lee Post author

    Google named 1 of the neighbourhoods in my country 'Skywoods' after 1 of the condominiums located there

  32. Zack Howell Post author

    The h is your logo is very interesting it's like the side closest to me is turned or just has two different textures

  33. Zack Howell Post author

    Oh yeah just take this online class and you'll know what a physysist knows. Ffs…

  34. Rajan Rao Post author

    wait I live in the east cut, next to the philz coffee

  35. Dale Stephanson Post author

    4:17 I'm from Vancouver and I've only heard of North-Lower Lonsdale, Park Royal, British Properties, and Capilano Highlands(which is now Edgemont now apparently)

  36. Anruimentair Post author

    The yeet street and H street in the neville township in pennsylvania are things

  37. Colorado Strong Post author

    I couldn't find VSCO hangout on Google Maps so I oopped…sksksksk

  38. Matthew Sawczyn Post author

    It's called The Eye because it's the HQ for the Google spy department

  39. Elijah-James mac Post author

    So Maine has so really stupid names (coming from a Mainer here) and machias seal island is off the cost of Macias, ME, and it’s not chi like tai chi, it’s chai as in a latte

  40. Graham Jackson Post author

    Just saw North Vancouver made a brief appearance in this video. Kinda random but cool!

  41. Lauren bruno Post author

    "Some say New Zealand"
    "Others say where?" I fucking died 😂😂

  42. Oliver Ray Post author

    Yet do this all the time in NYC, and it's really insulting. They do it to rename less desirable neighborhoods into more desirable ones, which is a big middle finger to the people already living there.

  43. Jessica withee Post author

    Your mispronunciation of ma-chia-ass is driving me insane as a mainer.

  44. I don't know what I'm doing but I'm doing it. Post author

    Still crapp for cycling

  45. Patrick Henderson Post author

    as a new zealander i find your videos offensive. Kia Kaha

  46. Noneya Bizz Post author

    Lol those dummies who named the eye cuz neighborhood watch signs…

  47. Cosmocat01 Post author

    But then there's Apple phones.
    And pure bosses use Apple maps.

  48. Djfrenchy Post author

    Hears 2.50000000 users on internet
    Yes I’m in this video

  49. Edming Productions Post author

    This video at 0.25x is so funny 😂😂😂😂🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️

  50. Arda Seçilmiş Post author

    I added my house to Google Maps so Burger King can find it easier and not call me,I hate being disturbed by a phone call

  51. zach wagner Post author

    Machias Seal Island or as we call it Grand Manan, is in fact Canadian. We don’t need passports to go there, and lots of places actually do call it Canadian.. if you look. But the area that is fished around it for lobster, scallops etc is known as the “grey area” because the waters are closer to the USA then Canada. But is still technically Canadian.

  52. Georgian Empire Mapper Post author

    Imagine a Costa Rican kid opens his history book only to find out a war between his country and Nicaragua started because of google maps 😂😂😂

  53. Nunovia Gottdamnedbizzness Post author

    Machias is pronounced

    CHI (as in Chai tea)

  54. Matt F Post author

    I always wondered why my neighborhood was called Burlingame heights. No one anywhere has ever called it that.

  55. CVY Post author

    Google Maps calls my street "The Sun Bridge Subdivision." There is no sign on the street or in surrounding areas that says that, and I've never heard anybody call it that in my life. If you told somebody that you were heading over to the Sun Bridge Subdivision, they would say "where the f*ck is that?" But if you said that you were going to S 16th they'd know exactly. I'd really like to know from whom's ass Google pulled the name "Sun Bridge"

  56. doodlepenguin5 Post author

    I have a friend who lives in the “East Cut”, he actually lives in the neighborhood there.

  57. trupizza Post author

    Jesus Christmas eve on the end of a hockey stick this man's got some humor lmao

  58. Koi Bubbles Post author

    HAI: starts talking about quantum mechanics

    Me: I thought this video was about neighborhoods

    HAI: And brilliant is really good at-

    Me: oh that’s why

  59. Robert Davis Post author

    As a New Zealander, if you don't put us on your maps, you don't deserve to have us on them

  60. Matthew Noble Post author

    “Some say New Zealand, others say where?” ouch

  61. huncho Post author

    4:15 Actually all neighbourhoods in The Hague have official names

  62. Julio Camacho Post author

    The plugs into the final advertisement can improve, and title is mega click bait.

  63. Lilbebee07 Post author

    At 0:35 Scrolled across the bottom was
    “Google, if you are reading this, please don’t ban this channel. I kinda need this job…”

  64. Zara Hughes Post author

    Wait does like geography work different in America?? Don’t you have suburbs…which are the actual terms for a neighbourhood?? Did I miss something??

  65. Friend Post author


  66. Brayden Persaud Post author

    Why is there a picture on 4:16 of The Hague
    In the Netherlands all neighborhoods have official names


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