Google Maps, NY Guns, and reasonable data expectations.

While the entire nation was in an uproar about New York’s plunge over the slippery slope of lost public trust, one thing seemed obvious to a number cruncher like me. The map cannot possibly be current, complete, or even accurate, because the data cannot be. What has happened though, is we have realized that a State that requires gun registration can (and will) soon after release permit information to the public. Living in a state where permits are not required this makes me laugh. Perhaps the most practical result of liberal loons divulging what they believed to be gun owners’ addresses, will actually be a solid foundation for resistance to such a rule in states where registration is not required. How is that for contradicting their own agenda?

How simple was this to realize? Well, feel free to zoom into any site familiar to you on Google maps. Flip on “satellite” view, or even street view, and try to guess what year that photo was taken. I tried this with a house I moved out of in 2007 and there’s my truck in the driveway. With the piles of data that Google attempts to juggle there is only one answer to the processing challenge… batching. When trying to database the entire planet you can bet those batches can be separated by years, not days. Even websites on the internet have become so outdated in Google’s index that they will reference a non existent page for years after it was removed. This just keeps getting worse, but what’s even more suspicious is that Google represents the more competent side of this 2 sided coin.

In order to post “gun owner” addresses Google had to reference a government database of gun registrations. If you think my description of Google’s concurrency challenges was bad, the state is the worst. They are almost always as incompetent as they come. This isn’t 24, with Jack Bauer and a team of the best IT people in the world. I’ve known some good IT guys, and can assure you NONE of them would would work for the government for fear that gubment incompetence is contagious. So the formula is almost certainly useless. The saying: “good enough for government work” describes this syndrome pretty accurately.

Recently some wise states have begun asking the private sector to bail them out of the tangled mess that unaccountable pseudo-developers get them into. We get inquiries from government agencies regularly but we do not allow our staff to be held captive to misguided bureaucracy. They are too smart for that, so the only contracts we accept are self-managed. We don’t need no stinking Dilbertesque PHB experimenting with project management while we are on task. So watch out northwestern USA. If local government entities do get their act together the next time someone wants to publish a government dataset, the results might actually be correct!

Caught sleeping?

It’s simply wrong to think that what works on the internet today will work tomorrow. In fact, far too many people build something really great only to get left in the dust by googlebot et al. Fair or not it’s a matter of fact that if your site was #1 you must maintain that. Our brand: “VeraciTek” has been hijacked by anything from spammy “statistics” sites to knock-off network hardware assemblers. Googles answer? Let ’em.

Another major cause of the damage were just minor dns oversights. For instance, some of our nameservers were incorrectly configured to present a client site when accessed. Who would have thought Google would have bothered to index our name server? Other problems were also found, like hosting sample scripts from client folders on our domain that the client never moves to their own domain.

Interestingly Binhoo (like that, Bing + Yahoo = Binhoo) had no trouble isolating the core of our domain and maintaining who actually owns the brand. I say interesting because Google used to be the champion of this logic, however today they really have drifted away from that priority.

If you think you may have been caught sleeping jump outta bed and get some cleanup going. We get so busy that we forget we have our own website to maintain. Googlebot is an oppressive master.