Is Google Using Pilfered Maps?S

The town of Argleton, England doesn't exist, but you can search its white pages, look for nearby chiropractors and map a jog through town, because "Argleton" is on Google Maps. How'd the phantom town get there? Funny you should ask.

Google and its Dutch map provider told the UK Telegraph they have no idea how the fake town got onto Google Maps. "There are occasional errors," a Google spokesman told the paper. But the paper points out cartographers often insert fake minor features like "trap streets" to catch people copying their work. If Google and its partner don't know anything about the town, that leaves a possibility the Telegraph was too polite to bring up: Perhaps the data in Google's maps was, itself, purloined from an offline source.

Is Google Using Pilfered Maps?S

Time to start asking this Dutch company some tough questions, Google. Either that, or you can risk that some aggrieved British mapmaker might see the coverage of "Argleton" and starting asking the tough questions for you.

(Top pic: Adam Burt)