October 16, 2002
10:39 AM   Subscribe

Map-making for fun and profit! How would you like to be born on Buttlickin Ave? Is this for real? Or Someone messing with yahoo's map software? Inquiring minds want to know!
posted by Maxor (36 comments total)
 
I've heard that map makers insert fake streets and/or landmarks to see if anyone is copying their maps. If you search for Buttlickin Ave. or its neighboring Fagdaddy St. on Yahoo! Maps, you won't find them. You have to search for Clay and zoom in. Can anyone in Davenport help out?
posted by Frank Grimes at 10:50 AM on October 16, 2002


I'm fairly certain mapquest and yahoo maps split a while back, and mapquest has that same street name:
here

So, either an older hack, or a real street?
posted by malphigian at 10:52 AM on October 16, 2002


Is this for real? Or Someone messing with yahoo's map software?

It's real. Buttlickin and Fagdaddy were the founding fathers of Davenport, or as it was known at the time Areyouoncrackofcourseitsnotrealville.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:53 AM on October 16, 2002


On Expedia, Fagdaddy is Riverview Terrace Park and Buttlickin has no name. Mapquest shows Buttlickin' but it disappears when you zoom in.
posted by internal at 10:53 AM on October 16, 2002


How interesting that Buttlickin Avenue is near Fagdaddy Street. According to Expedia Maps, Fagdaddy Street is actually Terrace Park. (Sorry, no link to the map, itself; just use the address on the original map and zoom in.)

On preview: what internal said.
posted by fredosan at 10:57 AM on October 16, 2002


Mapquest and yahoo would both buy their maps from somebody (or yahoo buys maps from mapquest), so it wouldn't be surprising to have the same content in the two maps. Most likely its the original mapmaker or the person who entered the digitized the maps having some fun. A (possibly) little known fact is that map companies often add fake roads or other features in order to provide evidence in case of copyright violations. Most likely they wouldn't chose names that would offend anybody though.
posted by substrate at 10:58 AM on October 16, 2002


Most likely its the original mapmaker or the person who entered the digitized the maps having some fun.

The company doing the digitizing (which is no fun, I've done it before and you could train a chimp to do the same job) must be hiring 15 year old boys from the local high school to the do the grunt work, judging from their witty banter.
posted by mathowie at 11:05 AM on October 16, 2002


A (possibly) little known fact is that map companies often add fake roads or other features in order to provide evidence in case of copyright violations.

This is true. Very little things are added but nothing to this extent (I work for a major map company). I've added little things to our software; mostly friends addresses or businesses. This is in addition to the data that was already there. What would possess someone to do this, is beyond me.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:14 AM on October 16, 2002


mathowie: i believe the contractor for our county-wide geographical information system has chimps doing digitizing for them. while 106'' sewer mains which appear to terminate in an apartment complex community house are somewhat amusing, i think i'd prefer what the 15 year old boys would have come up with!
posted by quonsar at 11:15 AM on October 16, 2002


Laugh all you want; at the end of the day, I'll retire to my palacial estate on Poopoohead Drive.
posted by dr_dank at 11:18 AM on October 16, 2002


FWIW, these streets are marked as "unnamed" in our software.

dr_dank: I believe that intersects with Poopypants Way.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:21 AM on October 16, 2002




Wow. It took a whole 48 hours for this to make it from Fark Street to Metafilter Avenue. I must speak to FedEx about this unacceptable delay in delivery times.
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:37 AM on October 16, 2002


So is that the explanation for Dildo, Newfoundland?

You don't need 15 year olds to dream up such "witty" names when the real thing is far, far better.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 11:43 AM on October 16, 2002


It's real. Buttlickin and Fagdaddy were the founding fathers of Davenport

This explains the town's allegiance to the saying "A noble Buttlickin embiggens the smallest man."
posted by soyjoy at 11:45 AM on October 16, 2002


My wife, a GIS analyst and cartographer, tells me that even printed map producers insert fictitious streets (in such a way as not to interfere with genuine directions/connections), and has shown me several on our local Sacramento, CA Thomas Guide, which I can attest (from looking for them) not to exist outside of the map itself. Wittgenstein would cry.
posted by luriete at 11:53 AM on October 16, 2002


Ok, but if you were going to insert fake streets, why would you choose words like that? I mean, it's a lawsuit for discrimination just waiting to happen.
posted by Maxor at 11:59 AM on October 16, 2002


... it's a lawsuit for discrimination just waiting to happen.

Uh, I don't see the discrimination factor here, unless we're discriminating against the people who actually live on Buttlickin St.
posted by TheManWhoKnowsMostThings at 12:21 PM on October 16, 2002


I grew up in Davenport. That is all.
posted by Ms.JaneDoe at 12:25 PM on October 16, 2002


As someone who has spent some time in Davenport, there is no Fagdaddy or Buttlicker St.
posted by Homeskillet Freshy Fresh at 12:28 PM on October 16, 2002


ha ha, soyjoy, you said "embiggens!" ...oh wait that was Davenport. Nevermind.
posted by slackdog at 12:36 PM on October 16, 2002


Some facts:

1. The USGS topographical map of Davenport has no street where Buttlickin Ave is apparently located. In fact, Buttlickin Ave should run into the campus of the now defunct Marycrest International University.

2. The US Census seems to believe in Fagdaddy.

3. I made a wrong turn and got lost in Davenport this summer. Just so you know.
posted by iceberg273 at 12:53 PM on October 16, 2002


My secret escape plan from stupid New York is to buy one of those gorgeous warehouses on the river in Davenport. In my dream it costs 7,000 dollars US. And like, I live there, and I'm all happy, and I never have to work much? I think about this weekly.

Now in my fantasy ms.janedoe is my warehouse-mate and we throw really good parties. All the fagdaddies come.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 1:11 PM on October 16, 2002


Oh but my dear sweet RJ Reynolds, Davenport is a hellish pit of doom filled with nascar fans, overweight craft women and everyone drives pontiacs & minivans to the Mallards games with cheap plastic flags attached to their windows--I could never go back! Never!
posted by Ms.JaneDoe at 1:19 PM on October 16, 2002


I just realized I should have dropped the overweight from "overweight craft women", b/c really, skinny craft women in Davenport are annoying too.
posted by Ms.JaneDoe at 1:32 PM on October 16, 2002


Apparently, this is what happens: the local agencies responsible for mapping the neighborhoods (usually the regional COG, or else the city or county planning division) give the data to the local census data clearinghouse. The clearinghouse corrects the maps to make the local data congruent with the federal. Often this requires people to go out and walk property lines with GPS devices, or drive streets, etc. Sometimes the mapping agency and the clearinghouse are the same agency. I assume that is where the fictitious streets where entered. While commercial maps, such as a Thomas Guide or AAA roadmap might be used as supplementary reference to the mapping agency, it would not be the basis in and of itself for the TIGER files. So I'm guessing some intern or soon-to-retire mapmaker at the Davenport City Planning Dept. is having a good laugh over all of this.
posted by luriete at 1:42 PM on October 16, 2002


From a friend who works in a planning office:

working for a municipality, where accuracy is key, esp when a map's being adopted for a state-mandated general plan or other purposes, we never do it. commonly referred to as key traps, or copyright traps, I know first hand of some at rand mcnally and thomas brothers that use a myriad of tactics. if a nonexistent street (most will use something like a court, though, or street that leads no where so peoples travel plans aren't whored) is used, they are referred to as 'paper streets'. most cartagraphers are more stealth though, doing things like reversing one letter (mirroring) of a street name, switching vowels in a methodical way... and other shit. hell, some people throw their initials on maps, where you'd only see them if pointed out.
posted by jonah at 1:45 PM on October 16, 2002


I once saw a road sign for Knob Lick, Missouri; and there is independent evidence for the existence of Knob Lick, Kentucky.

Now, if you lived on Fagdaddy St, Knob LIck, Ky, that might be a miracle.

posted by alloneword at 2:11 PM on October 16, 2002


Forget Knob Lick...go down to Big Bone Lick
posted by ?! at 2:27 PM on October 16, 2002


Mapquest and yahoo would both buy their maps from somebody (or yahoo buys maps from mapquest)

Both buy the data from GDT, and the software (ArcIMS) from ESRI.

A (possibly) little known fact is that map companies often add fake roads or other features in order to provide evidence in case of copyright violations.

Yes yes, they're called "bunnies" in the business. The most famous were a series of anti-OSU propaganda inserted in maps of Ohio by a Michigan State Cartographer. (Mysterious towns called "Goblu" or "Beatosu"). They serve to defeat or discourage map plagiarism.
posted by cadastral at 2:42 PM on October 16, 2002


Yahoo has updated its map.
posted by me3dia at 3:07 PM on October 16, 2002


fucking, austria
posted by quonsar at 3:26 PM on October 16, 2002


are we there yet?
posted by quonsar at 3:29 PM on October 16, 2002


Care to hump tulips?
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 3:49 PM on October 16, 2002


The straight dope, via Typographica, where this same conversation has miraculously appeared on the same day, with a different source. What a weird meme.
posted by luriete at 3:53 PM on October 16, 2002


I've been to Dildo in Newfoundland. Nearly all the signs had already been stolen, however there was quite an impressive war memorial.
posted by BinkyF at 4:17 AM on October 18, 2002


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