November 18, 2018

Google Mapping Issues

By Jo Mixon

Is it Mountain View Boulevard or is it Highway 434?

Why are we told by places we order online, that so many of our addresses do not exist in the system?

First we will look at only one issue, is it Mountain View Boulevard or is it Highway 434?

One of the main issues we are face in Angel Fire, in the age of GPS, is not being properly mapped through the Google system. I have been told by the Google Map representatives that the people of Angel Fire are partially to blame. Google mapping feels misled because many businesses located on this road use Highway 434 in their addresses instead of the legal name of Mountain View Boulevard. Before anything can change, we should work together to figure a way to get all of our businesses correctly registered, listed, and mapped. We have been trying for 2 years to make this happen, but it will only happen, when we are all on the same page.

In 2016 the Angel Fire Chamber, working with the Angel Fire Resort, started conducting free workshops in partnership with Google Mapping. Businesses that have complete and correct business information online are twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers. We found that businesses within the Village of Angel Fire were shown in the wrong locations on the Google map system. Some are as far off as being listed in Black Lake or Cimarron or Taos or even Raton. When this remains uncorrected, businesses are losing sales. When people can find correct information about local businesses, our community becomes even stronger. And when we get this one major issue resolved, Google will be more likely to work with us on correcting our residential mapping. We know our addresses exist, getting Google Mapping to agree is what matters.

So to date, as per Google, one of the main existing problems is that Mountain View Boulevard and Highway 434 are the same road. Google gets confused when half of our businesses use Highway 434 as their address and the other half use Mountain View Boulevard, especially when these businesses are right next door to one another. I spoke with a few of our businesses and they believe it is easier for people to find them and when they have deliveries, to simply use Highway 434 as their address. I also spoke with both our UPS driver and our Fed Ex driver about the problem on this particular road. They told me 75% of the Mountain View Boulevard businesses have their items delivered using their address as Highway 434 instead of Mountain View Boulevard. They also said, at first it really confused them too, not to mention what a nightmare it is for a relief driver.

So what is the solution? I spoke with Mayor Cottam and we both agree it is very frustrating to be told our addresses do not exist. We also agree that on the main street issue, it doesn’t matter which address our businesses prefer to use, whether it be Highway 434 or Mountain View Boulevard, it only matters that EVERYONE uses the same name. So we decided the first step we will take is to send out a survey to all of the businesses on Highway 434/Mountain View Boulevard and ask your opinion. Years ago, the road was legally changed to Mountain View Boulevard within the boundaries of the Village, but we did not determine in our conversation when that happened or why. It is also legally still State Highway 434. In our survey we will ask which name you prefer to use. We will also ask, would you be willing to use one or the other depending on the majority? If everyone would agree to use Mountain View Boulevard, from this day forward, there would not be any changes necessary. If using Highway 434 is the majority, it would take a little time to have that legally changed back, but as Mayor Cottam stated in our conversation, it can be done. She sited that it has recently been approved to change the name of North Angel Fire Rd. to Bill Burgess Boulevard. And even the the Village of Angel Fire is using both addresses, I think we all do. Our water bill at the Angel Fire Chamber is listed not as 3407 Mountain View Boulevard, it is listed as 3407 Highway 434. All it will take to get proper mapping, is for us to agree (and use) the same name on all of our correspondence, deliveries and online sites.

Proper mapping will benefit every business and individual in the village. The surveys will be emailed on Wednesday, October 31, 2018. Please fill out your survey and send it back. If we do not have your email address at the Chamber and you are located on Mountain View Boulevard / Highway 434, please send it to manager@angelfirechamber.org or come into the Chamber to pick up a survey on Wednesday or Thursday of this week.

Let’s work together to get properly mapped!

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