Following Google Maps’ directions hiking to the top of certain mountains could end your life
This image shows a dangerous route suggested by Google Maps to climb up Scotland’s tallest mountain
It seems that Google Maps is giving directions to hikers that could be lethal. At least that is the opinion of Heather Morning, Mountaineering Scotland’s mountain safety adviser. Morning says that “For those new to hill walking, it would seem perfectly logical to check out Google Maps for information on how to get to your chosen mountain…even the most experienced mountaineer would have difficulty following this route (from Google Maps).”
A Google spokesperson did comment about the possibly life-threatening directions and said, “We built Google Maps with safety and reliability in mind, and are working quickly to investigate the routing issue on Ben Nevis and surrounding areas.”
Google told CNN that it examining the issue and said, “To help both novice and experienced hikers more easily find trails that suit their level of expertise, we’re now updating our driving routes to take people directly to the visitor center, where they’ll be able to speak with staff about the best trail to take.” But the directions to Ben Nevis are not the only directions from Google Maps that could end up killing someone who follows the app’s directions (more on that below).
Mountaineering Scotland says that too many climbers put their trust in navigation apps
She goes on to say that “…especially on Ben Nevis, many people are not aware of where to get reliable information and may quite naturally assume that Google Maps, which got them from their home to the foot of the mountain, can carry on and do the job right to the top. This is not the case.”
A couple of paragraphs ago we hinted that there is another possible fatal set of directions offered by Google Maps. According to Mountaineering Scotland, a route shared by Google Maps to Scotland’s An Teallach mountain “would take people over a cliff.” Ouch!