Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Some Disturbing News: Online Directions Actually Really May Have Misled Kim Family

I blogged on this yesterday, regarding an MSNBC (AP Newswire) story that suggested that "...authorities say the cyber-savvy family may have plucked the route from Grants Pass to Gold Beach from an online mapping service, unaware of the elements."

My colleague, Jon O., sent me a message to the funsec list earlier this evening with revelations that this actually may have been the case.

Chills went down my spine when I read it, considering the tragic end to the story of the Kim family and the unfortunate situation that unfolded over the course of the past week or so.

My heart goes out to Katie Kim and her family.

Getting back to my point, Jon O. says:

I grew up "out in the woods" in Oregon and my Dad still works for the Forest Service out there. The Forest Service was providing some logistics support to the SAR teams. He spoke to the sheriff and suggested the police find out what type of GPS the car is equipped with, get the same model, and plot in the destination and drive the route. This comes from our experience in the woods of Maine and getting mis-routed by the in-car GPS (we almost ended up in the Atlantic, but we knew we were off route and knew how to get back).

The Kim family ate at Denny's in Glendale, OR. Here's the map from there to where they were going:

Mapquest does something interesting, it routes you the same way as google:

But it has a checkbox:
Avoid Seasonally-Closed Roads

That doesn't change the route at all ;(. This is probably because there are roads that have planned closure during the winter and ones that just become impassable during bad weather.

Read the entire exchange here.

Thanks to Jon O. for pointing this out.

Again, this entire story is very, very tragic. Our hearts are heavy...


At Sun Dec 10, 11:59:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not that it alters the tragedy of the situation but all the news reports I've read indicate that the Kim's were using a regular map not something printed from an online service (I think the misconception may have started with an opinion piece in the San Jose Mercury News).


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