Google Maps error allegedly leads to demolition of wrong house

Technically Incorrect: Take two streets with similar sounding names. Add a Google Maps error. Result: a Texas house disappears.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Not a good thing to come home to.

WFAA-TV screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

The motto of Billy L. Nabors Demolition, a Seagoville, Texas, company that razes buildings, says it all.

"We could wreck the world."

As WFAA-TV reports, the company was sent to demolish 7601 and 7603 Cousteau Drive, a tornado-damaged duplex in Rowlett, Texas. Somehow, 7601 and 7603 Calypso Drive, another tornado-damaged duplex a block away, was torn down.

The owner of one half of the duplex, Lindsay Diaz, told WFAA that she drove up to the property, only to discover it was gone.


Calypso. Cousteau. Calypseau. A little similar-sounding, neau?

"How do you make a mistake like this?" Diaz asked WFAA. One answer seems to be: by trusting Google Maps a little too much.

Maps aren't perfect. Not even Google's.

Diaz told WFAA that a Nabors employee texted her a screenshot from Google Maps. It allegedly showed directions for Cousteau Drive that led to her house.

Google confirmed it has corrected this error.

Billy L. Nabors didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Remarkably, though, its CEO, George Gomez, told WFAA on Thursday that his company's mistake was "not a big deal."

That might be a matter of perspective. The owners of the Calypso Drive duplex were in the process of trying to decide whether to rebuild, which seems fairly substantial to me.

Ever since GPS was created and ever since Google started making maps, people have followed instructions from these sources without question. Sometimes, this leads to amusing outcomes. Sometimes it can be deadly.

No doubt, technology can be wonderful. But it's still worth thinking for yourself occasionally.

Some tagline.

Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET
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