Even Google Maps gets lost in the works of Liège: the proof with these surreal examples

It is true that the works, especially those related to the tram, sprout like mushrooms in a city transformed into an open-air work. In a handful of key neighborhoods, traffic conditions change regularly. A street that is open one day will not necessarily be open the next day.

Although they sometimes surprise residents and motorists, these modifications are the subject of communication campaigns. Unfortunately, Google Maps seems to leave out a lot of this essential data in its collection of traffic information. To the point of killing the credibility of a whole series of routes.

First example: two months of ignoring rue Léopold

The rue Léopold is an essential axis that provides the link between the Outremeuse historic district and the Saint-Lambert square in the center, through the Pont des Arches. The Place Saint-Lambert roundabout leads in particular to motorways and high-rise neighborhoods.

Rue Léopold is also an essential hub for work on the Liège tramway. Main consequence in recent years: the one-way imposed in the direction of Place Saint-Lambert towards the Pont des Arches between July 15, 2019 and April 12, 2022.

The return two-way traffic from April 12, 2022 it is a small blessing that relieves many drivers. But surprisingly enough, Google Maps is not aware of this major change, as seen in the screenshot below.

Google Maps carefully avoids Rue Léopold (red arrow) towards Place Saint-Lambert, although traffic was restored in both directions in April 2022.

In this example, from point A to point B, from the Outremeuse youth hostel to the Citadelle hospital, Google Maps forces you to turn left at the Pont des Arches exit, as if rue Léopold was always one way. The app forces you on a surreal detour to finally reach the Place Saint-Lambert roundabout, the gateway to the Citadel.

If the loss of time is not catastrophic, the proposed route becomes much slower in other cases, especially when Google Maps sends you to take the motorway to Le Laveu via the Bypass quay, instead of “just” taking you through . Saint-Lambert roundabout.

Second example: the useless hook of the E25/A25 in the direction of Maastricht, Visé and Verviers

Eminently popular when entering and exiting Liège, the four traffic lanes (two in each direction) of the E25/A25 motorway will be converted into an urban boulevard by 2024. Work is in full swing. from March 15, 2022.

Specifically, gobbled up by bulldozers, the first two kilometers in the direction of Liège – Herstal – Verviers – Visé – Maastricht no longer exist. Drivers leaving Ardent City via Bressoux follow a parallel lane onto Avenue Georges Truffaut before rejoining the E25/A25.

Three months later, Google Maps still doesn’t know. For those who want to leave Liège via the E25/A25 and take the direction of Verviers, for example, the guide service mistakenly considers that it is necessary to make a strictly useless detour through Jupille-sur-Meuse.

Google Maps orientation and navigation application in Liège
Instead of leisurely walking down the E25/A25 via Avenue Georges Truffaut, Google Maps wants you to pass through Jupille-sur-Meuse when you return to the E25/A25 towards Visé, Maastricht and Verviers.

Waze and HERE WeGo pass the test

Can we ask a navigation application to be infallible? Obviously not. It is probably impossible to list all the construction works and traffic changes that affect traffic in every city in the world.

In the specific case of Liège, it is clear that the services of Waze, owned by Google, and HERE WeGo, do not collapse in the two examples cited above.

Both applications understand that:

– Rue Léopold is again accessible in both directions.

– Simply follow the E25/A25 wisely along Avenue Georges Truffaut to naturally recover the motorway at the end of the works.

The question of Google Maps information sources

These approximations of Google Maps raise serious questions about the sources of information used by the American giant. Some opacity is required, as this answer provided in 2019 by Google Belgium reminds us. “Our basemap is built from over 1,000 authoritative sources, including public and commercial map data, imagery at all levels (satellite, aerial, and street), and user input.”

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