We all know that the team at Google has a sense of humor. It's been nearly a year since they sent a packet of acetaminophen to Marketing Pilgrim blogger Al Scillitani. Earlier this year, they sent the Ask blogging team a new pen when they complained that their's had broken. Now, they've coughed up a Superman cape for a blogger that was told to walk across an eight lane highway while using the Google Transit service.
First, a snippet from the post that started it all...
So, the thing that sucks is I'm pretty far away from the hotel. I mentioned I took a $25 cab ride to the convention center, but was going to try public transportation on the way back. The new Google Transit (still in Google Labs) mapped my path. The actual bus itself was fine. Where Google dropped me off and told me to walk was the problem.
Um. Am I Superman? How the hell am I expected to pull that off? I was stumped. Here I am behind some warehouses in the pitch dark, trying to find out how to get over/under that highway. It's a tangled mess of high speed lanes. I come across train tracks. Of course, I look to my left and a train is coming (of course, I was at a safe distance). But are you kidding me? I'm trudging all over the place. I finally call my hotel (which I can SEE but can't get to), and they walk me through the way to get there. Which was very long. I think I have a permanent crater in my shoulder from my laptop bag and the huge SXSW bag. I was walking for about 90 minutes when it was all said and done.
Superman indeed. Reminds me of the email going around right now point out Google's suggestions that folks headed from the U.S. to Europe put their swimsuits on. (Don't believe me? Go to Google Maps and get directions from any U.S. location to London, Paris or your favorite European city.)
The happy news is that the Google team has responded in a way that has everyone smiling.
Reading your blog post about Google Transit at SXSW made us wonder if you were losing your powers—I mean, how hard could it be to leap over a simple 8-lane highway intersection, man of steel? We've enclosed a new cape—hopefully it will help you find your powers again.
...seriously, though, Adam, we're sorry that Google Transit sent you on such an expedition, and we wanted to let you know that we've since improved our routing, so that it returns more plausible walking sections at the start & end of transit routes.
Nicely done Google.
See folks? You can mess up...just be cool about it when you get caught.
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