Argleton, a ‘phantom town’ in Lancashire that appears on Google Maps and online directories but doesn’t actually exist, has puzzled internet experts.
The town appears on Google Maps in the middle of fields close to the M58 motorway, just south of Ormskirk.
Its ‘presence’ means that online businesses that use data from the software have detected it and automatically treated it as a real town in the L39 postcode area.
An internet search for the town now brings up a series of home, job and dating listings for people and places “in Argleton”, as well as websites which help people find its nearest chiropractor and even plan jogging or hiking routes through it. The businesses, people and services listed are real, but are actually based elsewhere in the same postcode area.
Google and the company that supplies its mapping data are unable to explain the presence of the phantom town and are investigating.
A spokesman for Google said: “While the vast majority of this information is correct there are occasional errors. We’re constantly working to improve the quality and accuracy of the information available in Google Maps and appreciate our users’ feedback in helping us do so. People can report an issue to the data provider directly and this will be updated at a later date.”
The data for the programme was provided by Dutch company Tele Atlas. A spokesman said it would now wipe the non-existent town from the map.
Read the full article here
As a long-time internet user who has always tried to maintain the right balance of privacy and sharing of personal details with the world at large, I was overjoyed to learn about Argleton.
Blog Troll: Hey you, you idiot with a blog that, while it belongs to you and you pay for it, annoy me because you write what you feel like and give your own opinions instead of pandering to me and my stupid opinions… where do you live so I can come stalk you and harass you and scare the heck out of your children.
Fracas: Oh, that’s easy… I live in Argleton!
Blog Troll: Thanks. I’ll be over next Friday. Make sure you leave the back door open and the kitchen drawer stocked with sharp knives and stuff.
Or how about…
Fool who thinks I’m raking it in like Dooce: Hello my dear. I’m a big fan and I’d like to come over to rob you blind of all your precious art and jewels and stuff get your autograph. Where exactly do you live again? I can’t remember where you wrote that on your blog…
Fracas: Oh, I surely am famous enough for that… come on over, I live in Argleton. Yes… Argleton!
Fool who thinks I’m raking it in like Dooce: Righto… I’m looking forward to getting your stuff John Henry…
Fracas: Of course you are…
And then there’s…
Facebook Dude: You know me… I sent you a friend request because a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of mine knows you. You didn’t add me. I’m sure you want me to come over to your house so you can have ‘coffee’ with me and pay for being a snobby bitch who didn’t add me re-aquaint yourself with me…
Fracas: Of course, why wouldn’t I want to invite over a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend? I’m sure it’s safe and all… and just to show you how much I trust you, why don’t you come over when my kids are at home too? I’m sure you’re trustworthy! I live in Argleton… totally. It’s really easy to find… just look for the signs!
The Cause (and it’s a very good one):
So please, help me convince Google not to wipe Argleton from the map because otherwise, how will these people find me if they do? Others are just as upset about it as I am…
I’m not asking for much… all you have to do is leave a comment to this post, asking them to please leave Argleton on the map. I’ll do all the work after that. After all… you might have to ‘move’ to Argleton at some point in your life too. Won’t that be easier if it’s on the map?
This post was lovingly rescued from the swiftly shifting sands of the digital desert. Must Have Media is not responsible for writing this content, nor can MHM attest to, or guarantee its accuracy or usefulness. It is here for archival purposes only. The post date reflects the original post date at its original location as far as we can tell.