“Microsoft has laid part of the blame for Bing Maps’ mis-location of the Australian city of Melbourne by a whole hemisphere on Wikipedia.
Yes, Wikipedia, â€œthe free encyclopaedia that anyone can edit.â€”
See Microsoft’s maps lost Melbourne because it used bad Wikipedia dataYou just couldn’t make this stuff up but M$ can. They do it quite regularly, basing important design decisions on grains of sand. Regularly, their house falls down.
- Melbourne is a well-known city at a certain place on the globe. You can bank on that.
- Go ahead, create a database of that kind of data for use in your applications.
- Live long and prosper.
Instead, M$ decided Wikipedia would be their database and they vacuumed the site for data, including sabotaged/typoed data. Come on. One of the largest and richest corporations on the planet does not vet their basic data? The mind boggles. Even back in the 1960s, when punch-cards were king, folks knew to check the data…
This is what drove me to GNU/Linux so many years ago. M$ was shipping an OS that could not stand up for a few hours of continuous use in my classroom way back in 1999. They were shipping known-buggy software as if they had a monopoly on desktop OS. They did for ordinary folks but I was a DIYer, a technological sponge and I had heard of and actually seen one instance of GNU/Linux (that failed installation) and I got it to work flawlessly on all of my PCs just by burning a CD and describing basic data for each of five monitors… How can a business run that way? Only under monopoly. Free markets don’t tolerate that behaviour. Even in 2016 they still do the wrong thing for the wrong reasons. FLOSS is wonderful. Wikipedia is wonderful, but you have to actually think about what you are doing to use both. Something as simple as obtaining coordinates from two independent sources would have greatly reduced the chances of such a failure. Cost? A few dollars. Benefit? Happy users.
Here, let me help. Melbourne shows up on the CIA’s world book. Can you scan their map for coordinates? Is it drastically different from your value? Check it out… That’s how FLOSS should work. Sharing data is powerful but you have to actually test the stuff before pushing it to your users.