Google Erases West Loop Streets

Google Fails Chicago: Part Three in a Series.

We’ve lamented before the declining quality of Google Maps coverage of Chicago.  Even though there is a Google office in River North (at 20 West Kinzie Street), often Big G seems to have more interest in accurately mapping the moon than its own backyard.

The latest offense: The West Loop’s missing streets.

Google Maps missing Randolph and Madison Streets

For some reason, in certain versions of Google Maps, Madison Street west of the Chicago River is gone.  Vanished.  The only evidence that it ever existed are tiny patches of proto-road between Washington and Monroe Streets.  This goes on for miles and miles.

Google Maps with Randolph Street marked as "planned"Even worse is Randolph Street in the same area.  While clearly marked in maps of Chicago that we have from the 1800’s, according to today’s Google Maps, it doesn’t exist yet.  But it’s apparently coming soon, since it’s marked on the maps as “W Randolph St (planned).”

In some versions of Google Maps, Madison Street is also marked “planned.”

This isn’t a one-day fluke.  We first noticed this back in the spring.  The screenshots you see here were made in late July, and we just checked the maps again today, and they’re still wrong.

As noted in the title of this post, this isn’t the first problem we’ve noticed with Google Maps in Chicago.  See our previous coverage here:

Unfortunately, Google is notorious for its lack of customer service, and has no reliable method for reporting errors in its maps application, or any other part of Google.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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