A street so new it isn’t on the map

Despite my love of the Melway, there are some days when I can’t be bothered walking over to my bookshelf full of them and looking up a street, so instead I turned to the “electric street directory” that is Google Maps. However on this occasion, I was searching for a street so new I couldn’t find it on the map.

Zacara Place not found in Google Maps

When looking for a major street like Bourke Street, Google beings up a page featuring a map, photos, and an extract from Wikipedia.

Bourke Street displayed in Google Maps

If you search for a minor street, you don’t get the photos, but you do get a map.

Duke Street displayed in Google Search

But in the case of Zacara Court in Deer Park, the search results were just real estate listings.

Non relevant search results for 'Zacara Place' as well

Until I reached the bottom of the first page, when two links to streetdirectory.com.au appeared.

Relevant search results for Zacara Place in Google

I clicked through, and I was now looking at imagery from the 2010 edition of the Melway, and an empty paddock.

Zacara Place not found in the Melway

But when I zoomed it, I finally found the street I was looking for.

Zacara Place finally found at streetdirectory.com.au

Is mapping really that hard?

The source of truth

I almost forgot about the official Victorian Register of Geographic Names – the VICNAMES database.

Zacara Court on the Victorian Register of Geographic Names

As you might expect for a public road, Zacara Court was easy to find.

Footnote

Thanks to Mike in the comments for picking up my incorrect use of Zacara Place instead of the correct Zacara Court – in both cases a Google Search doesn’t include a direct link to Google Maps.

Non relevant search results for Zacara Place on Google

Thankfully my confusion around the type of street doesn’t change the outcome of this blog post!

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11 Responses to “A street so new it isn’t on the map”

  1. Mike says:

    Place, or Court?

    • Marcus Wong says:

      Thanks for the pickup Mike – Zacara Court is the correct name. I’ve just checked Google, and putting in the correct name string brings up a blank, so lucky for me on that front!

  2. Simbera says:

    Google is quite reliant on crowdsourcing to keep its maps updated, via Google Map Maker. A lot of the newer roads and walking tracks you see near Deer Park station were put there by me, when I lived there. Since I moved I haven’t been doing it any more, and in any case that industrial estate was too far from my house. I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes a long time for it to be added.

  3. Andrew S says:

    Dealing with this problem at work right now! I’m on contract digitising drainage assets in 3D for a suburban council in Perth. Several new streets have been built as infill developments and as a consequence there is the odd street not on Google or Nearmap’s street overlay (or it is marked without a name).

    A couple of time’s I’ve been lucky and the Google Street View was more up-to-date and I was able to get the street name from the sign without it being blurred out.

    • Marcus Wong says:

      I’d almost forgotten about the Victorian Register of Geographic Names – aka the VICNAMES database. As an official listing of road and place names, any public road should in theory appear in it.

      I’m assuming there are other equivalent databases for the rest of Australia, maintained by the relevant state government departments.

      • Andrew S says:

        Fortunately I haven’t had to go that far yet – wanted the number the drainage structures with the street name prefix. Likewise I have a soft spot for Melway nerdery and quite a few directories!

      • Kevin says:

        Alternative is the Register of Roads maintained by each local roads authority (ie Councils and VicRoads), available on their website. I believe this is legally required.

  4. Jacob says:

    Melway pay at least 1 person to drive around Melbourne full time to check streets and stuff.

    Google is so big, they should do the same.

    Yes ironically the printed Melway is more up to date than the online Google Maps.

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