Google Unchained

Since moving to South Florida and having to drive in Miami occasionally, my wife and I have depended on the Google Maps girl (we call her “Rachel”) to show and tell us the way. It’s a blessing—and a curse when she gets confused, usually by some god-awful Miami on/off ramp with stoplights and curvy one-way avenues, all under construction and crawling with Miami drivers (who else?) who think they’re in a stock car race or video game car chase scene. Several times she’s had us driving around in convoluted circles while she sorts things out and gets us back on track. We’re totally at her mercy. My only consolation is that now and then I seem to hear a tinge of anxiety in her voice as we make turn after turn through some run-down Miami ‘sector’. (It’s not a healthy relationship.)

I thought none-too-fondly of frazzled Rachel and her ubiquitous master in Mountain View a few days ago when I Googled “K-Mart” in Key Largo and got this shot of the REAR of the store:


Seems the Google Maps car shot K-Mart’s derriere instead of its mug. (Note politely confused, clueless reviewer politely suggesting that K-Mart “looks little tired.”) What’s up with that? A coding error? Algorithm seizure? Or are driverless Google Maps cars already on the prowl and as ditzy as Rachel? Or, God forbid, “driven” by Rachel?!?