Fed-up farmer’s clever solution to Google Maps mistake

The Queensland farmer used his ingenuity to correct an issue that had been bothering him for years.

A fed-up Aussie farmer sick of travellers mistakenly driving onto his property in search of a popular tourist attraction, due to a glitch in Google Maps, has come up with a hilarious solution.

Queensland man Graham Anderson, who lives in the outback town of Isla — 327 kilometres west of Bundaberg — estimated that over the years, some 200 travellers had accidentally driven onto his property in search of the famous Isla Gorge, which is in reality 20 kilometres away.

Cattle farmer Graham Anderson and his sign mocking Google Maps.
Cattle farmer Graham Anderson's self-designed sign to redirect lost tourists following Google Maps. Source: ABC.

Anderson said at first it was only the odd car here and there that he spotted driving up toward his sprawling inland cattle farm, but after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted in Queensland and domestic travel returned, the number of unwanted guests began to spiral out of control.

"They looked genuinely lost and needed a hand, so I pointed them in the right direction," Anderson told the ABC. "We had people coming in just all the time and they were saying it was Google, that they were following the maps across our property to get there.

"We back onto the gorge and it's along our border, but there's no access to the gorge from our place at all."

Graham Anderson's solution to Google Maps glitch

The farmer said that quickly his pity turned to worry for travellers' safety, due to the rural location and scarce resources.

"We'd be down at the stockyards working cattle and all of a sudden, a car would come down there, turn around and shoot back," he said.

"I think most people would get halfway in and then Google cuts out and they'd end up lost in the middle, you're lost in the bush. We just can't be here 24/7 and you don't know who's coming and going, so it's a bit concerning."

The Isla Gorge.
The Isla Gorge in Queensland. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Eventually, Anderson took matters into his own hands and decided to fork out $1000 to create a sign that would leave him in peace and drivers headed in the right direction.

"Sometimes you've got to make a bold statement," he said. "You could always have just written, 'Isla Gorge that way', but then if it didn't say, 'Trust me not Google', they would have said, 'How do they know?', because Google knows everything."

Google rectifies issue

Since Google was made aware of the glitch the issue has now been rectified, but Anderson says he's going to keep his sign in place, adding that it had dramatically reduced the number of groups entering his property down to one every six months.

"People probably think, 'What nutjob lives there?', but it makes people look at it, people stop and take photos, so it's certainly achieved something," he said.

"I'll just have to replace it in 10 years when the writing fades."

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