Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Aforêtissage

Here's an example of why one should not depend on Google Maps for aviation information. Google not-so-helpfully sites the Harrison Hot Springs Water Aerodrome in the middle of a forest. I believe you have to click "view larger" to see the label.


View Larger Map

I often have a look at a place I'm going in Google Maps, to get an idea of what it looks like, the size of the town, if there's a beach or swimming area. Had I been the pilot looking for the Harrison Hot Springs waterdrome, a quick look at the satellite view would probably have clued me in that it was mislocated. It would probably be better to put down on the lake if a water landing is your intention.

8 comments:

david said...

OurAirports had the same problem, and it took the lat/lon straight from the Nav Canada Water Aerodrome supplement. Who's left to trust? :)

Blake said...

It looks like the source data is incorrect (Ie, the Waterdrome Supplement). I guess back in the day before GPS and web mapping a few minutes of error wasn't a big deal.

Aviatrix said...

An e-mail has been sent to Nav Canada to alert them of the error. Watch for a NOTAM to come out and then you can be proud that we participated in aviation safety. Or at least in aviation nit-picking.

It's surprising how many errors I've reported over the years that result in a specialist saying "no one's noticed that before." Of course dozens of people have already noticed, but they all assume the problem has already been reported.

Sarah said...

The google coordinates work out to almost an exact degree/minute/0seconds which suggests a not terribly accurate location coordinate.

Maybe TC figured if you couldn't find the lake you probably shouldn't try landing there.

Bob said...

I understand that the coordinates should be correct - and need to corrected, but how important are exact GPS coords for flying into a Water Aerodrome? Do Water Aerodromes operate in IFR conditions at all?

Anonymous said...

However, if you look for the Harrison Hot Springs "Waterdome" (not "Waterdrome" with an "r") the label appropriately shows up just offshore the Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa...

Aviatrix said...

Bob, it's true, it's hard to envision a situation where a person wanting to land at Harrison Hot Springs would end up in the woods, but the aerial view shows quite a few docks along the lake, so if you were trying to land such that you could easily taxi in to the waterdrome, it might be quite frustrating to have to hunt all around for the floatplane facilities. At least at a land aerodrome there are signs on the taxiways.

anonymous, the "waterdome" is sounds like an indoor water-themed amusement park. I think I'd be even more disappointed not to find the waterdome where Google promised it than I would be not to find the waterdrome.

Ward said...

I like the fact that if you zoom in enough to see the misplaced Aerodrome marker, Harrison Lake is also labelled "Strait of Georgia."