nav search
Data Center Software Security Transformation DevOps Business Personal Tech Science Emergent Tech Bootnotes BOFH

back to article
Microsoft can't tell North from South on Bing Maps

Anonymous Coward

"Microsoft has misplaced Melbourne, the four-million-inhabitant capital of the Australian State of Victoria."

That's because the cartographers are american.

21
6

"That's because the cartographers are american."

Well, as the old saying goes - Americans learn geography from war. Seeing as they have never gone to war with the Aussies, how can they know where Australia is?

21
2

This post has been deleted by its author

Silver badge

Tsk

A lot of Yanks died on Guadalcanal to impede the advancing Japanese Empire from eventually taking Australia, so we should know where it is.

Elsewhere, more Yanks died alongside plenty of Aussies and New Zeelanders, and yes, even the English, Welsh, Scots, Canadians, Free French and plenty more, and all while no one was actually threatening to invade US, and when we were done and could have totally dominated the world politically, we instead poured out our treasure attempting to help rebuild many shattered countries.

So I respectfully request that you be silent about things you don't understand.

16
44

If they were American they would have thought it was a City in Florida with the same name, population 76,868.

16
0
Bronze badge

Re: Tsk

"So I respectfully request that you be silent about things you don't understand."

Said war would have been a lot easier to win for the Allies if it hadn't been for the enthusiastic support of Nazi Germany by certain US industries - so it's probably a subject best kept quiet about.

31
3
Anonymous Coward

Re: Tsk @ Big John

"we instead poured out our treasure attempting to help rebuild many shattered countries."

I think you will find that "pouring out your treasures", was only a loan. Britain only finally paid off this debt in 2006

As someone once said "I respectfully request that you be silent about things you don't understand."

Oh sorry, that seems to have been you.

36
1
Silver badge

Re: Tsk

aah... John, m'man, American territory _was_ invaded during WWII. Guam was invaded early on. USS Guam, one of only two American battlecruisers actually completed (Saratoga and Lexington became aircraft carriers) was completed while Guam was occupied. Wake Island, a.k.a. 'the Alamo of the Pacific' repelled the first Japanese assault, which made 'em mad so they got out the heavy hammer for the second assault. Two of the Aleutian Islands, way up north in Alaskan waters, were briefly occupied. When the assault force to take them back, which included some Canadian troops who'd been promised to not be 'sent overseas' when they enlisted and were therefore very annoyed, arrived and took casualties during the landing, it turned out that the Japanese had had a good look around and had decided to let the Americans keep the damn useless lumps of frozen rock and had left. All casualties were from accidents or friendly fire, 'cause the Japs were gone. The only other battlecruiser completed for the US Navy was USS Alaska.

And, oh, the USN lucked out something awesome at Midway, part of the operation whereby the Japanese grabbed the above-mentioned lumps of frozen rock. That invasion was called off after sheer luck allowed the USN to sink four Japanese and so gut the Kido Butai, the Fast Striking Force. Yes, it was sheer luck; the, to quote Admiral Nagumo, 'American samurai' of the torpedo-bomber squadrons died to no effect... except pulling down the Japanese fighter CAP to low level, while completely by accident the American dive bombers came in unopposed from high level and killed three carriers. the American dive bombers got lost on their way to the Kido Butai. Some turned around and went home. One group arbitrarily made a left turn... and arrived above the Kido Butai just as the last of the torpedo planes were being massacred. The third group spotted a Japanese destroyer running at full speed to rejoin the fleet after attacking the submarine USS Archerfish, which had put several torpedoes, all duds 'cause the USN's Bureau of Weapons had had a truly monumental screw-up in the design, into a battleship escorting the carrier force. The dive bombers didn't attack the destroyer, they just extrapolated its course and arrived over the Kido Butai at the same time as the other dive bombers, but from a different direction. Even had the CAP seen them, the two separate attacks would have split the defense. But the CAP was busy killing torpedo planes and didn't see them allowing the dive bombers to pick their targets completely unopposed; most of the Kido Butai's antiaircraft guns were pointed low, to kill torpedo planes, not high, and it took time they didn't have to correct this. But for that, the US would have lost Midway, too, and _that_ was a dagger aimed directly ay Hawaii. And if Japan took Hawaii, next stop would have been the Panama Canal. (No, not the American west coast, Japan didn't have a big enough army to both invade the US mainland and hammer China, and as hammering China was the whole reason for the war in the first place, they weren't going to pull troops out of China. Panama, now, that was doable.)

14
0
Silver badge

I've been to Melbourne, Florida. It's just barely a wide spot on US1 northbound from Miami.

0
0

how americans learn geography ...

"Seeing as they have never gone to war with the Aussies, how can they know where Australia is?"

Battle of Brisbane? WW2. The ever reliable source has details.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Brisbane

5
0
Silver badge

Re: Tsk

New Zeelanders That would be New Zealanders....

9
0
Anonymous Coward

@Big John - Re: Tsk

Nobody said Americans were not brave soldiers, all that has been said is they're lousy at geography. Anyone remembers the Chinese embassy in Belgrade being transformed into rubble during the Balkans war ?

15
0
FAIL

Godwin's point reached!

Pity, comments at El Reg are often more fun than the article itself, but in this case we reached the Godwin's point at the 5th post !..

2
0
Silver badge
WTF?

>Well, as the old saying goes - Americans learn geography from war. Seeing as they have never gone to war with the Aussies, how can they know where Australia is?

The CIA knew where it was when they destabilised the Australian government. It always makes me laugh when the yanks bleat on about democracy while getting rid of any democratically elected government that they dislike. Too many to list so here's just one: http://www.williambowles.info/spysrus/cia_australia.html

2
0

Re: Tsk

I sincerely and respectfully request that you read a book called "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" followed by "More Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" before you post such unmitigated and frankly offensive garbage on the internet.

If you're too lazy the read you can always read the Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confessions_of_an_Economic_Hit_Man

People like the above poster give significant weight to the argument that people need to have licences in order to post (and also a licence to breed)

2
0

Re: Tsk

Quite. I was reading a "A new history of the Automobile" just this weekend and was quite shocked just how close some American industry magnates were to the Nazi leaders.

1
0
Bronze badge

Acceptable to ridicule an entire nation

Can you please explain why it's acceptable to ridicule an entire nation of Americans & use Yanks in a derogatory fashion.

I couldn't imagine you doing the same about Islam and "Pakis".

3
12
Silver badge

Re: Acceptable to ridicule an entire nation

I can, and have, called Pakis Pakis. I've also been known to point out that Scotland is where men are men (except for Tony Blair, he's a poodle), women are men, too, and sheep are nervous.

And there's this, one of my fav True Statements:

In Heaven…

the mechanics are German

the chefs are French

the police are British

the lovers are Italian

and everything is organized by the Swiss.

In Hell…

the mechanics are French

the police are German

the chefs are British

the lovers are Swiss

and everything is organized by the Italians.

Stop whinging, Yank. And that goes double if you're one of those Johnny Reb Yanks, the worst kind.

9
3

Re: Tsk

<snip>

"hat invasion was called off after sheer luck allowed the USN to sink four Japanese and so gut the Kido Butai, the Fast Striking Force. Yes, it was sheer luck; the, to quote Admiral Nagumo, 'American samurai' of the torpedo-bomber squadrons died to no effect."

<snip>

That was not "sheer luck" at all. A US intelligence unit in Pearl Harbour had decrypted various messages, had done traffic analysis (actual and electronic) and had worked their way through the mire of dodgy messages, reassignment of ships to others etc. and decided that this is where they would be. They then had to fight a rearguard action against naysayers in Washington and the Phillipines but in the end NImitz trusted the guy in question and a victory was achieved.

Not luck at all, good signals intelligence. look up HYPO and a brilliant sailor called Joe Rochefort.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Acceptable to ridicule an entire nation

> "Can you please explain why it's acceptable to ridicule an entire nation of Americans & use Yanks in a derogatory fashion."

It's because they know their own countries aren't any better and usually worse. So they selectively point out bad examples about the U.S. while pretending the good things don't exist or are overridden by evil acts somewhere else.

As an example, it's a fact that in WWII, 407 thousand Americans died fighting mostly in foreign countries for the purpose of defending those countries, BUT, a few U.S. manufacturers had contracts with Nazi Germany before the war!

Hmmm, I wonder how many other countries had such contracts too...?

What bothers me isn't that they do it, it's that they do it again and again. So very tiresome. They seem to think it's their job to inform the world just how rotten the entire history of the U.S. really is. As if their own countries' histories are only two days long.

3
6
Anonymous Coward

Re: Acceptable to ridicule an entire nation

It's because they know their own countries aren't any better and usually worse. So they selectively point out bad examples about the U.S. while pretending the good things don't exist or are overridden by evil acts somewhere else.

If you want to play a superpower you should grow a thicker skin.

Acting as if other countries matter (even if they really don't, in the grand scheme of things) might also help; however, this have always been optional for countries within the imperial phase of their life cycle.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Acceptable to ridicule an entire nation

> "If you want to play a superpower you should grow a thicker skin."

In other words... "Be quiet or I shall taunt you a second time!"

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Tsk @Bloakey1

Joe Rocheforte and his boys did their jobs, and did them well, allowing Nimitz to send out what was left of the American fleet to engage. Problem: Yorktown had been severely damaged in the previous battle. It should not have been possible to make repairs in time. They almost sailed with civilian dockworkers on board; the last repairs were made by the crew, en route to Midway. Problem: Halsey was sick, with a severe rash. They needed a replacement, quick. The only one available was a career cruiser man named 'Spruance'. Spruance was senior to Fletcher, the other admiral available, and so had overall command despite being a career surface forces man. No-one knew, then, that he was the greatest carrier admiral there ever was or would be.

The bad luck for the Americans started when a PBY patrol aircraft spotted the Japanese alpha strike going in towards Midway, and radioed in 'many planes headed Midway', notably leaving out minor details such as overall strength and composition. The good luck started when the cruiser Tone, one of the escorts for the Kido Butai, had a problem with it catapult and was late launching it recon aircraft. By sheer luck, the area that Tone's aircraft was supposed to patrol was the area containing the American fleet. The recon seaplane was late getting there due to the late launch, and when it did detect American ships didn't see a carrier... and so reported back. For over an hour Nagumo didn't know that there were American ships at sea, and for another half hour he didn't know that there was at least one carrier. That turned out to be critical.

Further bad luck for the Americans followed when the Japanese alpha strike hit Midway, and effectively destroyed the American air defense; only two out of 28 fighters remained airworthy when the Japanese left. The alpha strike suffered some loses, and other aircraft, including that of the strike commander, were damaged.

Additional bad luck for the Americans came when all of the B-17s based on Midway attempted to bomb the Kido Butai, scoring no hits. Next came the Midway-based torpedo bombers: two B-26s and five TBFs. Three TBFs were shot down, and all the other aircraft damaged. One B-26 attempted to ram the Kido Butai's flagship (what, you thought that it was _Japan_ who invented the Kamikaze?) but failed when the pilot lost consciousness from loss of blood and the co-pilot didn't think that it was a good day to die.

The alpha strike commander had radioed in that there was a need for a second strike at Midway. The B5N heavy attack aircraft ('Kate' to the US) could carry bombs for land attack or torpedoes for anti-shipping. The dive bombers could carry thin-skinned bombs for attacking buildings or heavy bombs for anti-ship. The Kido Butai had retained some of both types when sending out the alpha strike. They were configured anti-ship. Nagumo ordered them reconfigured for land attack... before the bombers from Midway arrived. And before Tone's seaplane reported in that there was at least one American carrier at sea. While they were in the middle of all this, the torpedo planes from the American fleet started arriving. The 'American samurai' showed every intention of bringing their torpedoes as close as possible before launching, and, like the B-26 driver, several showed a definite intent to ram. Torpedo Squadron 8, from USS Hornet, sent 10 aircraft out, each with a crew of three. There was only one survivor. Not one surviving aircraft, one surviving aircrew. The American carrier torpedo planes pressed home their attack against everything the Japanese could throw at them. Torpedo 6, from Enterprise, sent 14 aircraft. They got back 4, all damaged. Torpedo 3, from Yorktown, sent in 12, got back 2, all damaged. Some American fighters were close enough to have supported the torpedo planes, if they had been so inclined. None were. One of the Torpedo 6 aircrew had to be pulled off a fighter pilot when he got back to the carrier. So far the US had lost twenty-plus fighters over Midway and another few damaged, plus all of the Midway-based torpedo planes either destroyed or sufficiently damaged as to be no longer airworthy, plus effectively all of three complete carrier torpedo squadrons and had zero hits from air-launched torpedoes. The only hits, three submarine-launched torpedoes from USS Archerfish, were duds. Japan had light losses.

Nagumo, badly scared by at least two attempts by American aircraft to ram not merely his flagship but the bridge deck from which he was watching the battle, ordered his carriers to stop rearming with bombs for land attack and rearm with torpedoes for anti-ship, and he did so while the last of the carrier torpedo planes were still attacking. Which meant that when the dive bombers of Scouting 6 and Bombing 6, off Enterprise, and Bombing 3, off Yorktown, arrived, the Japanese carriers were packed with aircraft being refueled (part of the alpha strike had returned) and rearmed. Perfect targets for heavy bombs. At 10:24 AM, 4 June 1942, Japan was winning the war. At 10:26, they had lost. It just took three more years to convince them.

When the Kido Butai was lost, it was more than just the ships. It was the aircrews, the best carrier aircrews in the world, the men who had owned the sea and the sky above it from China to Hawaii to Ceylon. It took fifteen months or more to train aircrews to that level. Japan didn't have 15 months to burn. In addition, all the deck crews who serviced the aircraft were lost with the carriers. They were as highly trained as the aircrews, and as completely irreplaceable. And, oh, the commander of the alpha strike took off in his damaged Kate to hunt American carriers, knowing that he only had fuel for a one-way trip. Japan lost a lot of their best commanders, too. (They didn't lose Nagumo. Pity. He should have been awarded the Medal of Honor for all that he did to make the American victory possible.)

The Americans took heavy loses: Yorktown was sunk, as was a destroyer, and they lost a lot of aircrew. But the Americans were already starting to mass-produce the Essex-class carriers, and they could turn out aircrew in six to nine months. Their crews weren't as good as the Japanese, but there were an awful lot of them, and in the words of Stalin, quantity has a quality all its own.

Japan had to cut corners on the training program, and it showed. By 1944 the best Americans were as good as most Japanese, and there were a lot of Americans. Spruance would send his aircraft up into the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot where hordes of Americans flying superior aircraft wiped out Japanese carrier air. By 1945 Japan was reduced to desperate measures; Saburo Sakai, one of the old hands from China who had been severely shot up over the Solomon Islands and lost an eye in the process (and flew back nearly 500 miles and made a successful landing just the same) was dragged out of retirement after 18 months on the ground, promoted to an officer (the severely class-conscious Japanese very rarely promoted enlisted men into the officer ranks) and told to fly escort for kamikazes. His flight had two other escorts, both green newbies, and a dozen or so kamikazes when they were intercepted by 18 Hellcats from US Pacific Fleet. Sakai told the newbies to get the kamikazes home, and held off the Hellcats by himself, shooting down three, before escaping back to base. Remember, he was blind in one eye... that's the calibre of the Imperial Japanese Navy's aircrews in the late 1930s to early 1940s. The best there ever was.

Spruance got them, anyway. With a lot of luck and a lot of assistance from Nagumo.

4
0

Re: Acceptable to ridicule an entire nation

Pretty much. I'm surprised you had the gumption to post a second time. I'd recommend you keep your head down.

Most of 'les rosbifs' have forgotten what the thread is about and are just bating you.

Me? I'm an Aussie, but as I was born in Sydney I don't mind that Melbourne was displaced.

0
0

Re: how americans learn geography ...

The same "reliable" source Microsoft used thus resulting in Melbourne shifting North?

0
0
Silver badge

Re: @Big John - Tsk

You're all missing the point here. This is Microsoft, not the good old US of A.

So the real question should be: "why does Microsoft hate Australia?"

The answer, of course, is that Microsoft doesn't hate anyone. They just want your money, and control of your systems. Data accuracy is way down on the list of things they care about.

1
0
Bronze badge

I can't believe it matters. Nobody uses bing maps do they?

50
5

@anthonyhegedus

Until this article, I honestly didn't know that Bing Maps existed.

Apparently, for my own safety, I should now forget they exist! :)

35
0

Bing maps has a killer feature compared to Google (for UK residents at least) - OS landranger and explorer maps for free. Not that I use it for anything else though

3
0
Silver badge
FAIL

Melbourne Relocated - Official

Well the Australians had just better get used to it, because the likelihood of Microsoft admitting the mistake and putting it right is somewhat small.

37
0

Re: Melbourne Relocated - Official

No, you're thinking of Mozilla...

2
17
Silver badge

Re: Melbourne Relocated - Official

"putting it right is somewhat small." - I think never would be more accurate.

5
0

Of course MS misplaced it...

When has anyone at MS been able to find their own arse with a map, a torch, a Sherpa guide, & nanometer-accurate GPS?

They can't even find a simple CLUE much less anything as elusive as Australia. =-J

22
1
Silver badge

In defense of the fat-fingered blunderer, let us not forget that Australia bites. Venomously.

11
0

As does every single damned thing in it.

Including the women (There's a story there that I'm not going to get into right now).

8
0
Silver badge

"ncluding the women (There's a story there that I'm not going to get into right now)."

Pictures, or it didn't happen.

9
0
Silver badge

What he said.

1
0
Silver badge

Playmobil diorama or it didn't happen!

2
0

For years, Bing maps has totally relocated dozens of Sydney landmarks around the city as it indiscriminately treated X street in the CBD as X street in another suburb, Notifying them of the scale of these errors (via feedback, twitter etc) has been a thankless exercise.

Bing also has a gift for identifying the main location of some institutions at minor branch locations. It placed the University of NSW in Manly for several years, and now places it at the location of its small College of Fine Arts, several km from its main campus. At least it's now on the correct side of the Harbour.

Anyway, all you need to do is open Bing maps in a neighbourhood you know well, to find dozens of businesses that you heretofore thought were located elsewhere: beach holiday resorts in suburban streets. It's hilarious.

Much of the data appears to come from the Australian Yellow Pages, which - from following links - seems to be years out of date. Obviously a poor partner for Bing's local offerings.

25
0
Silver badge
FAIL

"We're the Hakowi" - F Troop

As others have mentioned I was unaware that Bing did things other than try to emulate G**gle in the search engine dept, so I went to look at my local neighbourhood. I'm really glad I don't use it for navigation!

Findings to date:-

* Local Target is in the middle of an intersection hundreds of metres from real location

* Aus Post is in the wrong shopping centre

* Local bridal shop is about 5kms east of where it really is

* Our favourite Chinese is 500m along the wrong street

* Two local Pizza outlets and a local burger joint are both located in (different) residential houses nowhere near their real locations

* Local pharmacy located where a Shell servo is (and servos are not mentioned anywhere)

etc, etc, etc.

What a farce!

12
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: "We're the Hakowi" - F Troop

well, showing things a few hundred meters from where they are is not too bad.

According to bing maps, in my neighbourhood (which is in a major european capital) there is simply nothing. No houses, no businesses, no public transit, no university which i can see from where i sit now. Simply nothing.

i mean if they'd have taken the maps from the last time the american troops were passing through, there would have already been an airfield and a research centre; this is actually how the area was at the end of the 19th century!

4
0
Silver badge
Meh

Well, Bing stores maps as tiles, so given their success with the start menu it's unsurprising really.

7
0

Re: "We're the Hakowi" - F Troop

I tracked a local business around the corner from me back to a current Yellow Pages listing. However there has not been anything there for a decade, unless the rotting premises of a long abandoned fish and chips shop qualifies as worthy of Yellow Pages relevance.

I should note that for the first two years after Ikea opened its flagship store in Tempe, Google Maps showed a vacant lot. But then again, most American companies can't put two and two together without an Allen key.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: "We're the Hakowi" - F Troop

Yeah, as if Google maps are perfect. Their take on my neighbourhood includes listing a shitty little shop selling pet fish as if it were a major landmark and referring to the local cemetery by the name of a piece of land opposite which was built over in about 1920. They're clearly just grabbing old out of copyright maps and sticking on a few bells and whistles.

P.S. Bing maps in the UK is way better - there's an OS view and the aerial photos are much better.

P.P.S. Melbourne is in Derbyshire. And somewhere near Royston.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: "We're the Hakowi" - F Troop

Near me it has a Costa Coffee on a country track that is a dead end (I assume it's supposed to be part of the nearby services on the motorway, which would put it about 300m out).

0
0
Silver badge

Re: "We're the Hakowi" - F Troop

No, we're the Fugawi.

1
0

Please try to keep up

Typical Reg. We've resided in the Northern hemisphere since 2002. http://www.satirewire.com/news/jan02/australia.shtml

12
0

Australia's moving North as fast as your fingernails grow. Faster than ever, last year. So Microsoft are just a bit ahead of themselves, for once.

17
0
Silver badge
Boffin

"Australia's moving North as fast as your fingernails grow. Faster than ever, last year. So Microsoft are just a bit ahead of themselves, for once."

So what you're saying is, about when Australia is entirely in the Northern Hemisphere, Windows will work perfectly?

25
0
Silver badge
Coat

Actually, Australia is moving at about 7cm a year, which is about double the rate of fingernail growth. It's the fastest moving continent. If you want fingernail growth speed, try the moon. It's moving away from the earth at 3.8cm a year, more or less spot on!

3
0

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing