The Fake Neighborhoods on Google Maps
Articles, Blog

The Fake Neighborhoods on Google Maps

August 28, 2019

This video was made possible by Brilliant. Start learning with Brilliant for 20% off
by being one of the first 200 to sign up at If you’re from San Francisco there’s a
few things you’ve probably never heard of: toast without avocados, three figure rent,
republicans, and the East Cut neighborhood. If you go on Google Maps though and search
for East Cut it’ll tell you that’s this neighborhood between Market Street and the
Bay Bridge even though, before a year ago, nobody had even tried to call this area the
East Cut. Nowadays, however, the “East Cut” name
is seeping into the real world all thanks to the world’s benevolent dictator—Google. Now of course Google is amazing and lovely
and I don’t mean to be critical at all of such a fantastic organization but they do
have a certain amount of power over, well, everything. More than half of the world’s smartphone
users have used Google Maps in the past month and, considering that there are 2.5 billion
smartphone users in the world, that’s a lot. Google Maps is the most popular mapping service
in the world and that means that when someone wants to figure out what something is, they
check Google Maps. Quite bafflingly, the benevolent dictator
almost almost started a war in 2010. You see, where Nicaragua and Costa Rica meet
on the Atlantic Ocean Nicaragua believes the border to be this while Costa Rica believes
it to be this. In 2010 a Nicaraguan military troop was sent
to the area to do dredging work on the San Juan River. While there, though, the troop just happened
to meander onto Calero Island which, as far as Costa Rica was concerned, was Costa Rica. Now, having a foreign military strut into
your country with no prior warning doesn’t look great. It looks a whole lot like an invasion so Costa
Rica, being, interestingly, the most populous country in the world without a military, sent
70 police officers to make sure that this wasn’t the beginning of the Nicaraguan annexation
of Costa Rica. In response, Nicaragua sent an additional
50 troops and the two parties sort of just had a stand off while the two country’s
leaders had a discussion. As it turned out, the few dozen troops that
entered Costa Rica had no intentions to singlehandedly overthrow a country of five million. Their commander was just using Google Maps
to navigate which showed the border as this. Costa Rica then went to the International
Court of Justice, and complained and then, after years of back and forth, the court ruled
that this area was in fact Costa Rica and so now Google Maps shows it as Costa Rica
and Nicaragua lays off the invasions. Unfortunately Apple missed the opportunity
to create a great Apple Maps ad. Google Maps does try more or less to follow
what people say places are but sometimes some people disagree on what a thing is. For example, some say New Zealand, other say
“where?” Some say Machias Seal Island is part of Canada,
other say it’s part of the US so if you search it on Google it won’t tell you which
country it is like it does for the rest of the US or Canada. It’ll do the same if you look at a town
in Western Sahara, Kashmir, the South China Sea, or any other disputed territory. But perhaps the biggest issue for Google Maps
is what to call neighborhoods. You see, in most cases, neighborhood names
aren’t official—they’re just decided through what people colloquially call places. People just refer to this area in San Francisco
as Russian Hill or this area Telegraph Hill, this area Jackson Hill, and at least a few
people call this area the East Cut. In 2015, you see, an organization was founded
to improve what was then called Rincon Hill. For some inexplicable reason they decided
they needed a rebranding and they settled on the neighborhood name “the East Cut.” They updated street signs and their website
and everything but still, when asked, the mayor of San Francisco said he had never heard
of the neighborhood. Lucky for the East Cut organization, one of
their board members just happened to work at Google, whose offices are in the East Cut,
and, according to the New York Times in an article about this debacle, was able to persuade
the company to switch the name which is the most San Francisco story ever. Some neighborhood names on Google Maps are
even more baffling, though. In Detroit Google Maps refers to this area
as “the Eye” even though really nobody has ever referred to this area by that name. A blogger did some detective work and was
able to figure out that Google Maps copied the neighborhood names from a map that some
random website published in 2003. Google Maps even copied the misspellings from
that map. As it turns out, “the Eye” was the name
of a community watch organization in the area so there were signs around the area saying
“the Eye” and somewhere along the line someone got confused and assumed it was the
neighborhood name. Still today that name shows up on Google Maps
and, if you really want, you can search and buy real estate in the prestigious Eye neighborhood. In true Detroit fashion, houses start at $8,000. Nobody’s really sure exactly how Google
determines neighborhood names but, once they do, that name essentially becomes official. According to Google Maps Machias Seal island
is both Canada and the US at the same time but you know what’s also two things at once—Quantum
objects since, thanks to Quantum superposition, these particles can be in two or more quantum
states at the same time. This is what Schrodinger’s Cat is about—it’s
like if a cat was both dead and alive at the same time. Quantum mechanics is like magic that’s happening
in our world right now and it’s sort of complicated but Brilliant is the expert in
teaching super complex things in an understandable way. If you take their quantum objects course you’ll
go away knowing what only specialized physicists understand. Of course Brilliant has plenty of other great
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to premium, you’ll get 20% off.


  • Reply Lurk February 7, 2019 at 8:04 am

    8k for a house In Toronto 8k will get you a nice apartment for 2 months or the deposit on a really real shitty condo

  • Reply Ali Fabela February 8, 2019 at 5:56 am

    As a San Franciscan, that was on point

  • Reply AEO Co February 9, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    Downvoted because you support the zionist pigs at google. How do I know they're zionists? Because they removed Palestine from the map in favor of israel. Fuck google, I hope they die.

  • Reply Don Addison February 10, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    Google Maps will also change street names they consider offensive. Outside of Chattanooga, TN there is a street called Suck Creek Rd. It was named this when whites settled the area. Where the creek meets the TN river there was a whirlpool colloquially called "The Suck".,_Tennessee Google Maps calls it Cherokee Trail.

  • Reply Sharon February 11, 2019 at 3:02 am

    Me, a New Zealander: New Zealand? Where?

    (We know we're little okay we get it)

  • Reply LKRandom February 12, 2019 at 7:14 am

    There's an area near my house called Ma Shan Village. While no one calls it Ma Shan Village anymore, there was a real village called Ma Shan village near the area.

  • Reply Colin Smith February 19, 2019 at 1:38 am

    So fake neighborhoods are on here but not mine I am depressed now.

  • Reply Joe Phinney February 19, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    Think wrong neighborhood names are bad? Well at least your neighborhoods are listed. Our neighborhood has been a neighborhood with several houses for years now, but before that it was mostly pine trees. Wanna take a guess what appears on Google maps when people try to navigate to our house by address… yep, you guessed it… a whole lotta trees (oh an a dot for our address that is about half mile off).

    Of course that just goes with the flow of incorrect street names, highway numbers and abbreviations, businesses that are still listed as open that do not exist any longer, etc. Funny thing is that when I travel up north I don't see near the number of these issues with Google maps and their listings. I guess Google just hates southerners and the south in general.

  • Reply Wahannu Kalingga February 21, 2019 at 1:05 pm

    Fake Tales of San Francisco

  • Reply Tom Tebetobsi February 23, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    according google, we had a nuclear power station in our gym

  • Reply marie watson February 25, 2019 at 12:12 am

    This is because of gentrification. They are purposely rebranding.

  • Reply Lil juice February 25, 2019 at 9:07 am

    In Houston we have the east end it’s on google maps but I’m too young to know if it was called east end before google

  • Reply Abhigyan Verma February 25, 2019 at 11:05 am

    Thumbnail shows wendover heights

  • Reply Zhi Xiang Lin February 26, 2019 at 6:20 am

    You should do one for why do some ZIP codes only cover 1 city block.

  • Reply Lil Ashreksual February 26, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    Wendover Hights seems like a nice place to live.

  • Reply Courtney B March 1, 2019 at 12:38 am

    Lol at the way you pronounced Machias!! Locally, we pronounce it mach-eye-as 😊

  • Reply Jaya Bhargav March 5, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    0:53 1.25 billion to be exact

  • Reply Jaya Bhargav March 5, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    Kashmir is definitely India

  • Reply Toxic_ cotton March 6, 2019 at 1:07 am

    imagine starting a war because you checked your phone and saw that another country's land is yours. Google would sure do a big oopsie

  • Reply Subilishness donald March 6, 2019 at 6:48 am

    I was in bed and then when I saw this I know I were gonna make a new Zealand joke

  • Reply dead man186 March 11, 2019 at 12:54 am

    Curiosity killed the cat


  • Reply Michael DeSanta March 11, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    Because Apple Maps is shit

  • Reply FannomacritaireSuomi March 22, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    Why can't Nicaragua and Costa Rica just unite to form the Republic of Costaragua? They both speak Spanish and share the same cultural/historical heritage…

  • Reply Ikääntynyt lapsi March 22, 2019 at 5:28 pm

    Are you a communist

  • Reply Ali Alamri March 23, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    Lmao ahh sf, google maps is trash

  • Reply Ali Alamri March 23, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    Lived in sf all my life never heard of east cut

  • Reply Adrian March 27, 2019 at 6:25 am

    Wendover heights…

  • Reply Drop Scopez March 28, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    4:18 anyone else from Vancouver????

  • Reply imser March 30, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    "The East Cut sounds like a $17 sandwich" 3:28 blurry text on top

  • Reply Justan_ idiotTJ March 30, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    Thats where I live!

  • Reply Deven Hull March 31, 2019 at 1:28 am

    I was so confused when he started talking about quantum superposition like we were just supposed to know how that was related

  • Reply Rachel Sediva April 2, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    OK oi, Quebec isn't disputed territory, the referendum got voted down. But hey, at least Canada got mentioned at all! Lol

  • Reply Adithya Ramachandran April 3, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    My parents house is very close to the boundary between 2 counties in new jersey, and Google maps used to think it's in the wrong county. Thankfully, that has been changed now.

  • Reply Sun child April 5, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    some say new zealand others say where?”

    that hurt😔

  • Reply Bridget Dolan April 8, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    Yo, you are the god at sponsor transitions I've been watching a bunch of your videos and you just slide right into the sponsor what a god.

  • Reply Zandaroos April 9, 2019 at 6:07 am

    Reno’s neighborhood placements by google are such bs, the only thing they god even close to right was Midtown, UniWest and West Reno. Then they added some bullshit neighborhood “Dickerson” which doesn’t, renamed McQueen “Northwest Reno” and forgot the rest of the city exists.

  • Reply Mikeyhouston1 April 9, 2019 at 11:52 am

    Costa Rica's border thought had en enclave

  • Reply Nunovia Gottdamnedbizzness April 10, 2019 at 11:17 pm

    That US/Canada island is pronounced

    Mah-CHEYE -ass
    Seal Island

    "Cheye" rhymes with "Rye"

  • Reply Cheese Burger April 11, 2019 at 2:44 am

    I only use Google Maps for the April Fools Day pranks😄

  • Reply John Wright April 14, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    gets offended in maroi

  • Reply JackelLight April 16, 2019 at 2:02 am

    Quantum computer

  • Reply OLBastholm April 16, 2019 at 7:31 am

    I went straight to Google Maps, navigated to San Francisco and found this neighborhood. It's called Rincon Hill. Did this video make a change to Google Maps?

  • Reply Kernelpickle April 17, 2019 at 4:44 am

    I’m glad that you mentioned the bullshit neighborhood names in Detroit, because they were some of the most egregious examples. I don’t know why Google feels the need to label all these “neighborhoods” when the people who live in them don’t even recognize that they exist—but now that there’s actual names to with these places, some of the few nicer neighborhoods in Detroit (ie usually where the big / fancy brick homes are located) have started using the names.

    That said, NOBODY has started calling that area “The EYE” unless they’re joking.

  • Reply Scott Clam April 21, 2019 at 2:23 am

    there's a section of woods nearby to where I live that is simply called 'town' on google maps. There's no trails, it is very small, and no one has ever called it town.

  • Reply Matthew Jones April 23, 2019 at 5:30 am


  • Reply LightDeathguy April 23, 2019 at 7:08 am

    Is neighbor hood names an American thing?

  • Reply Lupanescence April 26, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    2:22 Darn right xD
    I live in New Zealand and there's an entire website dedicated to maps we aren't on

  • Reply Phil April 26, 2019 at 11:25 pm

    Did you mean erlich blockman?

  • Reply Natjo April 27, 2019 at 10:41 am

    2:20 as a New Zealander I’ll be honest I had a good chuckle at that joke

  • Reply Jason Milne April 28, 2019 at 3:54 am

    Thanks for clearing that up about the Eye, I drove through the area to pick up a friend a so was very confused. I've been wondering if it was just made up by Google ever since.

  • Reply Sarah Small May 2, 2019 at 5:05 am

    I grew up in Machias Maine. It is pronounced ma-CHAI-us.

  • Reply Markus Staudt May 2, 2019 at 10:57 pm

    His videos have 3 sponsor plugs per video. Gross

  • Reply chazz Lucas May 3, 2019 at 10:36 am

    lol…. You think Google has some kind power ? .. Wow really ?
    Half as Interesting …. Google couldn't make an updated to their own search engine without consulting their mommy : (

  • Reply tfc 343 May 3, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    still don't know what a neighbourhood is

  • Reply Saibal Republic May 5, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    I'm not making this up but the neighborhood that I live in is actually named after me , Saibal Republic. After all I edited it on Google Maps.

  • Reply Nothing May 5, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    $8,000 for a house? Jeez, even a run down shack would cost $200,000 or more here. Much more for a decent house up to $1 million for something middle class.

  • Reply Mason Wyberg May 5, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    Rincon hill was brought up in an i survived book

  • Reply TYRONE LEAK May 7, 2019 at 4:09 am

    8000$!? I’ll take 2😂

  • Reply BIG OOF May 9, 2019 at 1:20 am

    You never hear of Republicans in cali😂😂😂😂

  • Reply julia koz May 15, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    anyone else notice that the neighborhood on the thumbnail is a reference to his old channel, “wendover productions”

  • Reply Sam Labo May 17, 2019 at 2:02 am

    My cat is dead and alive
    But some day he will be just dead

  • Reply Radagast49230 May 17, 2019 at 3:03 am

    Forget them adding names to places. There are lots of roads that Google Maps are sure exist, but don't, or conversely roads that have existed for decades but don't show up on Google Maps.

  • Reply killi mimes May 21, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    All hail our benevolent overlords!

  • Reply The Eaglesperch May 22, 2019 at 12:37 am

    There is a neighborhood in my city named after a pharmacy… wtf

  • Reply Lukeland May 29, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    I'm Switching To Waze ._.

  • Reply ThyRubyKing May 31, 2019 at 11:11 am

    "Some people say New Zealand and some people said what?.


  • Reply catastrophic temperamental May 31, 2019 at 11:28 am

    Lol. The ad transition was smooth…

  • Reply Jonny Blade June 1, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    PBS Space Time is also good at explaining quantum mechanics

  • Reply hityouwithacoustic June 7, 2019 at 11:14 am

    China is confucius .-.Get an eyeful of this travel warp !
    If you started here -> 22°32′13.33″N113°58′9.51″E  
    and travelled in a straight line, here  -> 30°23′6.72″N 120°14′36.60″E
    You would now be at the same building you left from ..totally cray but true!!

    …So you better go here -> to stretch and rest your legs..

  • Reply peterhoz June 8, 2019 at 9:30 am

    Google maps cause a lot of problems, especially for emergency services, who use official addresses and not google's fictitious ones. This has resulted in people calling 000 (911, 999, etc) and relaying a fictitious/erroneous address, and thus not being able to be found and saved/helped. In some cases, they have died due to this.

  • Reply The Rem Master June 10, 2019 at 10:18 am

    In canada there is no nabourhoods only towns citys and rapidly declining money.

  • Reply M F June 12, 2019 at 9:14 am

    These are map traps made by mappers

  • Reply Tossy Bros. June 18, 2019 at 3:43 am

    0:19 ITS A BART AD!!!

  • Reply Max June 21, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    Everybody get ecosia, it’s a search engine that plants trees

  • Reply ricky rivas June 25, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    lol republicans

  • Reply UeUeUdk June 26, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    Why the fuck are all of your videos sponsored

  • Reply Jazzy jt June 26, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    Unidentified Male driver and a great way for people who have a

  • Reply Ni Oxx June 28, 2019 at 12:02 am


  • Reply Mike Scarborough June 28, 2019 at 5:18 am

    And I thought that Google Earth was just the name of an app. Google has actually changed the name of our planet!

  • Reply Vela AJ July 3, 2019 at 8:37 pm


  • Reply Marc Harrison July 10, 2019 at 12:32 am

    I hate the way you advertise. But love the content you put before you sneak in the ad.

  • Reply Vi Gd July 11, 2019 at 12:59 pm

    No one using apple maps. Its slow update, its seems their dev not living in the earth.

  • Reply J Tau July 12, 2019 at 1:35 am

    … When you suddenly realise you live in a fake neighbourhood… Welcome to the twilight zone 😂😂😂

  • Reply Toxicwolf July 16, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    nice reference to wendover productions

  • Reply Don't, Jim Angius July 26, 2019 at 10:40 am

    I feel comfortable shortening that to “some people disagree”
    I mean, when it comes down to it “some people” or fuck it, even just “people”. At least for the last 10,000 years or so.

  • Reply Don't, Jim Angius July 26, 2019 at 10:40 am

    The eye, haha

  • Reply Shpade Owt July 26, 2019 at 10:38 pm

    For some reason when I press the video, it shows the thumbnail of TimTom' s "Arresting A Guy at VidCon"

  • Reply TheRealFrost July 27, 2019 at 9:59 pm


  • Reply Keith W August 2, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    What Is this Google maps that you speak of ? Only use a compass and my innate sense of direction….(umm yah) …because I am man, and I ask directions from NO one…lmfao..

  • Reply Jaime Brown August 3, 2019 at 5:33 am

    I actually have a case of this in my hometown of Rowland Heights, California. In my hometown there is supposed to be a small neighbourhood named Otterbein, named after Otterbein Avenue, but nobody has ever heard of calling that area Otterbein. The so-called neighbourhood is quite small too, only covering about three blocks off the intersection of Colima and Otterbein.

  • Reply James Thomas August 9, 2019 at 4:15 am

    ah, I see

  • Reply Jameseco 123 August 9, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    4:18 ehhhhhh I live there!

  • Reply Turkey Tango Gaming August 14, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    Agloe: do I exist?
    (Movie): Now ya do!
    *Beatosu, Goblu, East Cut, Telegraph Hill, Carmine, Argleton and Russian Hill Get Jealous

    Agloe: What?

  • Reply Papi Pride05 August 15, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    Machias seal island is actually pronounced Ma-ch-eye-as

  • Reply Cort Loseke August 17, 2019 at 5:02 am

    I hate San Francisco

  • Reply Zhi Han Lee August 17, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    Google named 1 of the neighbourhoods in my country 'Skywoods' after 1 of the condominiums located there

  • Reply Zack Howell August 18, 2019 at 8:15 pm

    The h is your logo is very interesting it's like the side closest to me is turned or just has two different textures

  • Reply Zack Howell August 18, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    Oh yeah just take this online class and you'll know what a physysist knows. Ffs…

  • Reply Rajan Rao August 20, 2019 at 12:58 am

    wait I live in the east cut, next to the philz coffee

  • Reply Isacc Soun August 23, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    2:55 in the captions it also says Jackson hill

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