Monday, March 31, 2014

April Fools Joke Played by Google Maps or nah?


I read one of the articles out of the Flipboard’s Real World Magazine entitled “An Imaginary Town Becomes Real,Then Not. True Story.” It was so fascinating, the reference to Pinocchio was hysterical, “Imagine Pinocchio becoming a real boy and then going back to being a puppet. That's what happened here — but this is a true story” (Krulwich, NPR). A couple of men who were in charge of creating/designing maps one day decided to combine their names…Otto G. Lindberg (OGL) and Ernest Alpers (EA).


In the 1930s these draftsmen created a completely fake town called “Agloe” in upstate New York. The “original” coordinates of this fictitious town were only there due to a building that was built as a result of the town. Once “Agloe General Store” disappeared so did the existence of the town—as far as the maps people were concerned; without any landmark there the town does not exist.

As of Mar. 18, 2014 thanks to Krulwich’s detective skills and snarky writing style Google (Maps) was sure to look into this before it hit headlines rapidly & in doing so took down the town & made it nonexistent, “Google was perpetuating an 80-year-old fantasy that for a short time turned real, then unreal.” I find it so interesting that these two men could fool so many people for so long…but did they really fool people…why can’t Agloe be a place in New York? Can it not be “real” because there isn’t any business there contributing to capitalism?



I took the liberty of looking up Agloe, NY before posting this, and it doesn’t exist anywhere on a map of the United States currently, but at one point it did, just not anymore…Google was just kidding.

1 comment:

  1. Love this story! And love the idea that a place only becomes "real" when it is mapped. When maps change, places change-- even though it seems like it should only work the other way around. :)

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