Location map just got better
Good news for all of you that like to check the map of the places I've visited: our friends at Google announced on Friday that they have just added coverage of 54 new countries to Google Maps! Of these new countries, quite a lot are in the Latin American region — this means that almost all the countries I've been to (and plotted on my map) now have proper coverage. So if you look at the "locations" page on this site now, you should get a pleasant surprise: all those red dots on the map are no longer in a sea of empty white; you can actually view them in their proper context. I discovered this cool improvement today, and I'm very impressed with how it looks. Thanks, Google Maps team, and keep up the good work!
Here's a summary of the countries I've been to, and their old-vs-new coverage on Google Maps:
- Australia / USA / Canada: already had near-perfect coverage; no significant improvements
- Mexico: previously had no coverage at all; now has near-excellent coverage country-wide
- Peru: previously had no coverage at all; now has near-excellent coverage for Lima, and rudimentary coverage for the rest of the country
- Bolivia: previously had no coverage at all; now has near-excellent coverage for La Paz, and rudimentary coverage for the rest of the country
- Ecuador: previously had no coverage at all; now has near-excellent coverage for Quito / Guayaquil / Cuenca, and significant coverage for the rest of the country
- Chile: previously had no coverage at all; now has near-excellent coverage for Santiago and several other big cities, and significant coverage for the rest of the country
- Argentina: previously had no coverage at all; still has none (what's the story here, Google?)
Additionally, Brazil (the next country I'm going to, and my final destination in Latin America) has already had near-excellent coverage for quite some time, and Brazil has had no significant updates with this change. Brazil was previously the only country, in all of Latin America, with any coverage at all — good to see that this has now changed. As for Argentina, I have no idea why it was left out of this big update: it's one of the biggest and most modern countries in South America, so it really should have been given some attention. Anyway, hopefully Argentina will be covered in Google's next big update.
Up until now, I've been plotting the co-ordinates of my locations as best I could, mainly with the help of Wikipedia, which has latitude and longitude information for many cities and towns around the world; and with whatever other scraps of online information I could find. However, the coverage update has revealed that many of my locations are plotted incorrectly. I will be working to fix the co-ordinates of these plotted points over the next few weeks, so that they match the newly-available map data on which they are overlaid.