Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Someone at Google Maps is pulling my leg

I recently went to maps.google.com, looking for directions from Denver International Airport to a location in Northglenn, a suburb on the north edge of Denver. Getting out of DIA is simple: follow Peña Boulevard to I-70.

Not according to Google Maps.

This first picture is the Big Picture of the route from DIA to Northglenn. I didn't know civilians could get into DIA from the north, and it never crossed my mind that DIA is surrounded by aviation-related businesses that do not use Peña Blvd for access. (You may need to click on the map to see the whole thing.)

The second picture is a satellite view of DIA and the starting point.

The third picture is a close-up of the starting point. That white building is not a tiny building. The taxiway leading into the building is wider than the largest passenger jet, and the parking lot north of the building is full of cars, too tiny to see at this resolution. But it's not the passenger terminal.

I didn't think it was this easy to drive onto the airport. I had assumed that, post-nine-eleven, major airports like this would be sewn up tighter than a wineskin. Maybe I should try to drive this route and see who I encounter.

Oh, there's an interesting note on the runway there: "Continental Airlines Flight 1404." No, Google Maps is not marking the current positions of flights on the runways. (I think there are other websites for that.) Continental 1404 had a little accident at DIA just before Christmas 2008. You can read about it on Wikipedia.

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