Google Maps mistake leads to the wrong house being torn down by demolishers

by: Kris CarlonMarch 24, 2016

7601 Cousteau Dr

We’ve all suffered from Google Maps errors: aimlessly walking around the point on the map the app has directed you to only to find the address is not there. Well, one unlucky home owner in Texas has got us all beat: her tornado-damaged house – which was scheduled for repair – accidentally got torn down when the demolition team got the real house’s location mixed up. All thanks to Google Maps.

Google maps new icon AASee also: Google Maps finally gets customized location icons9

The mistake seems innocent enough: the house scheduled for demolition was at 7601 Cousteau Drive in Rowlett, Texas. The house scheduled for repair was 7601 Calypso Drive, just down the street and right on the corner of Cousteau Drive and Calypso Drive. The bumbling demolition team apparently never thought they should double check the address before bringing in the wrecking ball.

Accidental Texas house demolition 9to5Google

When the owner was informed about the mistake, she contacted the demolition company to find out what had happened. She was allegedly sent a screenshot from Google Maps as a kind of bizarre justification for the accidental demolition. Because I’m sure that made everything better.

Google has reportedly fixed the problem, but as you can see in the screen grab at the top of this article, the address at the lower center of the screen still shows up as 7601 Cousteau Drive even though the pinned location a little north of it is the real 7601 Cousteau Drive (if you search for 7601 Calypso Drive it shows up in the right place now though). Both Apple Maps and Mapquest have the right address for the now-demolished house.

While this may make some of us chuckle, this is pretty appalling. The owner had received a permit to repair and rebuild, but now, instead of picking up the pieces she’s going to be starting from scratch. The demolition company hasn’t even apologized for the mistake yet.

So consider yourself lucky the next time Google Maps take you to the wrong destination and perhaps we should all reconsider how much faith we put in crowd-sourced information on the internet, even when it has Google’s name on it.

Can you believe this happened? How much do you rely on Google Maps data?

  • Craig

    Not everyday the town that I live in, is made news-worthy on Android Authority… Interesting…

  • yankeesusa

    What is an apology going to do unless they cover all costs?

    • Syukri Lajin

      well, with a good lawyer, she’s going to get lots of money for the renovation lol :P

    • Diskus1

      The demolition company is responsible, of course they have to pay for damages.

  • tykobrian

    What the…. ???

  • T.J.

    If your job is to demolish houses, you better be triple checking every address.

    • Hoggles

      Exactly. Not a Google Maps mistake at all.

      Here’s an idea…look at the address on the structure.

      • Matt

        The house numbers are the same.

        • Dalibor Pencik

          but the street signs aren´t. And for every demolition they should check the house with the owner befor they start or not? Good bless Europe and houses made from bricks and concrete, nto wood. :-D

          • Matt

            I responded to said “look at the address on the structure” – most people only have their house numbers and not their street name on the structure…

    • The Ultra

      They are paid to demolish! Not to think.

      • BlueRoyale

        Yeah, demolish the right building.

        • Bobylein

          That are just details

    • DeathWarmedOver

      And kind of make sure it isn’t filled with belongings.

  • 375gtb


  • 375gtb

    Google can afford to to rebuild their homes…..

    • Eleazar Parham

      Google shouldn’t have to rebuild their homes it’s the construction company’s fault.

  • 375gtb

    They did this in I.ROBOT!!

  • Michal Mlejnek

    In czech republic we have at least perfect postal and house numbering system so this would never have happened if google gets data from official sources as I believe they do.

  • Prox


    • ikaros02


  • TrueGunner

    Please help me understand how this is a Google maps mistake issue. Sure I have had hiccups with maps and have taking wrong exits but I seriously doubt this was a Robot demo crew with Maps integration. :)

    • Eleazar Parham

      Best argument so far

    • You mean like the robot demo crew in iRobot (the Will Smith movie, not the book)?

    • vegiisan

      Oh man, I cracked up so much picturing said Robot Demolition Crew now w/ Maps Integration! Also I am terrified of this prospect.

    • Dávid Róbert

      Guess why is Google selling Boston Dynamics :)

  • Haseeb

    It was not a Google Maps mistake. Stop with this cheap ‘journalism’!
    And no, we all have not ended up at nonexistent places because of Google Maps. Come on! Be original!

  • SilentPatriot

    No mention of who is being sued? Inquiring minds want to know! =P

  • cns2007

    This a shaky story. I have a tiny bit of experience with construction (relational to demolition) and a crew isn’t simply given an address to go to and knock down a building. There’s preplanning and prep work that needs to take place, especially in a residential neighborhood. There’s just something odd about this whole thing.

    • Someone found an easy way to pass the blame off to someone else! As you mentioned demo crews typically just don’t show up to a random house and start a demo and at no point in time are you ever going to just start working on a house without verifying an address. But hell I guess this is what happens when you let idiots rely on technology SMH

    • Andrew

      Yep, wouldn’t the demolition company need to do things like verify all utilities were shut off first?

      • Love J

        Finally worked!

  • Eleazar Parham

    They can’t blame Google Maps. If you are planning to knock down a house it’s your job to check streets and address. She should sue.

  • King_Android

    Lmao this dumbass demolition company.

  • Mark Kendrick

    Another example of Android copying Apple. ?

    • Guest

      Yea copying bad maps

      • Mark Kendrick

        It brought flashbacks of Apple maps directing people across runways and into canyons without bridges

        • Or in my country not knowing Amsterdam central station (Apple maps was missing it)

  • wcjeep

    Technology is only a tool. It does not fix stupid.

  • Karly Johnston

    If you get a big enough check it will be a blessing.

  • ChrisPollard77

    Interesting that the included NEWS video makes absolutely zero mention of Google Maps whatsoever. Sensationalizing much, Android Authority? The demo company better have a really good insurance policy.

    • Division Charlemange

      Yup.. and one wonders if part of their insurance policy is editing Google Places after screwing the pooch..

  • Bert Gregory

    Now she’ll get the brand new house of her choice. The bad part is the loss of family mementos.

  • Chris W

    Not really Google’s fault. Their service is free…now if the wrecking company had paid for it and was provided incorrect information, it’s still their fault for not checking the address of the house that they were at.

    • philnolan3d

      Yeah Google makes no claim to be 100% accurate. In fact in many places they warn that it may not be accurate.

  • philnolan3d

    At least she wasn’t IN the house.

  • ianberg

    This reminds me of the start to The HitchHikers Guide To The Galaxy.

  • Colton Blumhagen

    This is so stupid I almost don’t believe it. But that’s why the customer & contractor should meet at the jobsite first.

  • HatchetHaro

    Well that’s just stupid. Google Maps is not the be-all end-all solution to anything; it is just a simple and quick way for getting map data and directions. I’m blaming the demolition company here, not Google Maps, because anyone with a shred of common sense would actually know to double check locations and do the proper prep-work before doing anything drastic, like demolish a bloody house.

  • EngineerGunter

    “The bumbling demolition team apparently never thought they should double check the address before bringing in the wrecking ball.”

    There you go. You said it yourself. Not Google Maps’ fault.

  • Dimanja Rin

    It woukd be funnier if the house bellong to the demolition company boss.

  • Richard Hart

    Hope she sues the hell out of the moron contractor.

  • me_

    Magellan GPS or Google map cannot pin point correctly my house.!!!!

  • mcdonsco

    Use Google maps data almost every day and while there are some inconsistencies, it’s much better than any other mapping program I’ve ever used.

  • Andre Laurin

    Well hopefully she’s able to sue the company. This is not a mistake but incompetence and the company needs to pay. Like Ron While says “You can’t fix stupid”.

  • Love J

    Exactly @ Andrew. I don’t know why I was unable to up one your reply but I was thinking the same. What about verifying the gas line and electricity were shut off? They just skipped that step? Setting up property lines, informing the neighborhood?

  • Jan Bea

    Who wrote this?… Apple Maps employee.

  • Frederic Krueger

    It’s not just errors in their data; it is also inability of Google Maps to process additional informations besides sheer numbers in house numbers (which are common in countries other than the US), and the inability to use user input to correct those obvious mistakes. If in doubt, don’t trust Maps, it is probably wrong.

  • ChadeuX

    I smell something stupid