“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,” Heather Morning, Mountaineering Scotland’s mountain safety adviser explained in a statement.
“But when you input Ben Nevis and click on the ‘car’ icon, up pops a map of your route, taking you to the car park at the head of Glen Nevis, followed by a dotted line appearing to show a route to the summit.” Morning said that “even the most experienced mountaineer would have difficulty following this route. The line goes through very steep, rocky, and pathless terrain where even in good visibility it would be challenging to find a safe line. Add in low cloud and rain and the suggested Google line is potentially fatal.” She also added that Google Maps suggested other routes which would direct users towards “life threatening terrain” when they sought to navigate the country’s other high peaks, including the 1,062-meter An Teallach. “For An Teallach in the northwest, a ‘walking’ route was input into the search engine and the line offered would take people over a cliff,” she warned. A spokesperson for Google said the company was looking into the complaints. “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,” the spokesperson said in an email. “In addition to using authoritative data and high definition imagery to update the map, we encourage local organizations to provide geographic information about roads and routes through our Geo Data Upload tool.”
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