Google Maps Blunders

Edit 2/3/2013 – I just checked these again. Since I originally wrote this more than five years ago, Google has fixed them all. The only one that’s still visible on Google is the Pharaoh.


Edit 1/11/2007 – some of these blunders have been fixed now. Google took the levitating car out of the picture, for instance. Some of these are now links to boring images.


I just came across a list of what could be considered Google Maps Easter Eggs. These are anomalies in the images. Some are funny, some are weird, all are at least worth a look.


  • Airplane – Somehow a 1950′s era airplane got superimposed on top of some houses in England. I hope no one was hurt.
  • B2 Shadow – Closely related to that, yet less definite is the shadow of a B2 bomber over La Palmas de Gran Canaria. This, of course, is not a real shadow, its the result of differences in color quality between the images that Google stitched together. But, it has provided fodder for conspiracy theorists on the web.
  • Bug – This is one of my favorites. You think the roaches in Texas are big? Germany has bugs that are several hundred feet long! Either that, or a bug got caught between the plates when someone was scanning these images. It had never occurred to me before, but apparently some of the images that are used to comprise Google Earth were scanned in.
  • Buildings – This one is also pretty funny. These buildings are leaning different directions. M.C. Escher would have loved this one.
  • Jesus Loves You – I guess people in Idaho think that Jesus loves aliens, too. Now that’s interesting! It raises some interesting questions about theology, to be sure. I can tell you that if we ever start sharing the gospel with extra-terrestrials, I’m going to raise support to be part of that ministry.
  • Levitating Car – Over in Perth, Australia, Google Maps captured an image of a car that’s hovering over a lot. I hope the owner has a jet pack.
  • Pharaoh Wearing iPod – This one is by far the funniest to me. I can’t tell if this is real, or it someone at Google is having fun with us here. It just kinda adds to it that this is in Canada.
  • Star – When the image was taken, whatever is here was reflecting back sunlight. Its a little less interesting, but its still something to see.

There must be dozens of other examples of stuff like this. If you know of any, post them in comments.

7 thoughts on “Google Maps Blunders

  1. Liz

    This is great! How did you find all of this stuff? It looks like I’m not the only one who’s having a fun, but not necessarily productive day :)

    Liz

  2. Jimmy

    The aircraft pictured is a Lancaster WWII bomber, there are several still flying in the UK, I can’t see it’s shadow on the ground but this would depend on hight and angle as well as time of day (PM in this case – house shadow angle) The shading on the aircraft matches the angles of the ground shadows. This picture is possible IMHO.

  3. Lenwood

    @Liz
    I found these while surfing on Digg. Pretty cool, eh?

    @Jimmy
    Hmm, that hadn’t occurred to me. If the plane were at a high enough altitude then it wouldn’t cast a shadow on the ground at all. I’ll bet you’re right.

    If that’s the case, I wonder why we don’t see more of this in Google Maps? There are thousands of planes airborne over the USA at any given moment.

  4. Marc van Poucke

    Hi Lenwood,

    I saw the Google-maps-blunders and enjoy them. I just want to tell you I found almost the same star near to where I live: in Wever, Best, The Netherlands. You will find it if you follow the link below.

    Marc van Poucke

    Google Maps

  5. Luke

    I noticed this near the German/Dutch border, all the trees and grass are purple/violet and when you go nearer on street view they go green, go further down the street to see this weird google maps error! http://g.co/maps/fsbrs

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