Just about two years ago, I wrote about Cambridge’s Cronin Park, a triangle of green near Central Square. These days, location-based stuff is all the rage, and I was pleased to note that Cronin Park is a place on Foursquare. I quickly became the mayor.
But when I was taking screenshots for this post, I noticed that something was off. Foursquare’s Cronin Park pin, if you zoom in on it, turns out to be across the street from the actual place – in an adjacent green patch that is authoritatively labeled by Google Maps as… James Cronin Park. Didn’t I add James Cronin Park to Google Maps two years ago? What gives?
A search for “Cronin Park” shows two places: map point A is next to Google’s mislabeled Cronin Park; map point B is the center of the actual Cronin Park as added to the map by yours truly in 2008. Indeed, you can see my car parked across from the park on Franklin street.
Just to make sure, I visited the site today, and “my” Cronin Park – the triangular one – is indeed, still James P. Cronin Park, still marked by a big rock with a plaque on it. The park across Franklin Street has no name that I could find on site, but it seems to have been anointed by Google Maps. Neither place is mentioned at the City of Cambridge’s DPW page of parks or shown on the Park Maintenance district 2 map.
What does this all mean? Probably not much you didn’t already know. Google Maps isn’t perfect, crowdsourcing with curation cuts both ways, the City of Cambridge website isn’t encyclopedic. We’ll see if this post or my efforts with Google and Foursquare make any progress in getting Cronin Park properly located and noted. In the mean time, be sure to check in if you’re passing by.