The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13

The ghost city on Google Maps
 / 

Argleton, in Lancashire, the United Kingdom.

It exists on Google Maps

20091102_argleton

but not in the real world.

@BrianDeacon suggested—and he’s right—that this is so, so Annabel Scheme.

From the Telegraph:

One theory is that Argleton could have been deliberately added, as a trap to catch companies that violate the map’s copyright.

So-called “trap streets” are often inserted by cartographers but are, as their name suggests, usually far more minor and indiscreet that bogus towns.

Roy Bayfield, head of corporate marketing at what would be Argleton’s closest university, Edge Hill, in Ormskirk, was so intrigued by the mystery that he walked to the where the internet indicated was the centre of Argleton to check that there was definitely nothing there.

Alas:

When Mr Bayfield reached Argleton—which appears on Google Maps between Aughton and Aughton Park—he found just acres of green, empty fields.

Of course he did. Everybody knows the only way to visit Argleton is to flash your GPS unit’s firmware with a new version from this site. Then you wait until the night of a new moon, tap in A-R-G-L-E-T-O-N, blindfold yourself, and follow the unit’s spoken directions. Follow them exactly. Follow them no matter what they say.

Do that, and you’ll get to Argleton.

But remember… Argleton is a trap.

7 comments

Now that’s a fun distributed collaborative art project – find, then document the fake places of Google Maps. Whichever participant never writes back – he/she’s the one that found the hole to the next dimension.

Matt Penniman says…

I have a friend who works at Google and he said that every so often, some of their maps files show this kind of error — usually they’ve been updated recently, from an unmapped IP address that will sometimes return as “grailgrid.net” on a whois, and sometimes won’t return anything at all. They have an independent consultant working on the case, who just started at Google and seems particularly interested in this issue; keeps saying something about “messages from Hugh”.

Tim Carmody says…

You know, Argleton looks like a bad OCR scan of Aughton.

“Your mom looks like a bad OCR scan of Aughton”

(You have to say it in a really chavvy accent)

Tim Carmody says…

“Argleton looks like a bad OCR scan of your mom.”

I had no idea that you’d written about this, Robin, although the discovery that you have does rather bring things full circle.

Inspired by your Annabel Scheme project on Kickstarter (loved the book, by the way), I’ve launched my own… about Argleton and what might happen were you to visit the exact longitude and latitude given by Google Maps.

More info here: http://kck.st/b4MruP

By the way, when’s the next instalment of Annabel Scheme?

The snarkmatrix awaits you

Below, you can use basic HTML tags and/or Markdown syntax.