Google Maps 'mistake' sees park named after stunned Aussie

After pressing the wrong button online 'Tester Park' in the ACT was born.

A random accident while playing around with Google Maps left one stunned Aussie with a park named after him.

In 2018, Oliver Tester moved to Higgins in the ACT with his wife when he was taking a look at the park across the road on Google Maps. On finding it nameless he went to click on it, "pressed the wrong button", and was asked if he could suggest a name for it.

As a joke, Oliver entered in his last name, calling the location 'Tester Park'.

Without any request for supporting documentation from the ACT Place Name Committee, this new name was published and what happened in the following five years was what Oliver describes as a "snowball".

"It got published and away it went. It started popping up in real estate adverts in the local area, on the Uber app, and on some of the ACT Government documents," he shared with ABC Canberra Mornings radio.

Oliver Tester accidentally named a public park after himself which ended up having a snowball effect. Source: Google Maps / Supplied
Oliver Tester accidentally named a public park after himself which ended up having a snowball effect. Source: Google Maps / Supplied

Changing the name ends up getting park upgraded

After the name had changed local barbecues and events began being organised at the park, with people bringing plates of food and enjoying the space together.

Local ACT parliament member Tara Cheyne ended up attending one of these very barbecues and saw the space deserved some more attention.

"[Tara] saw the community atmosphere and supported us in securing some investment into the park and now its got a whole new piece of play equipment there, a picnic area, a bike track," Oliver said.

Since the upgrade, Oliver has said that this once unnamed patch of grass has become a place with "identity" within the community.

Google supports 'mistake' but changes name

The original story was published by The Canberra Times who shared it on their TikTok, and on Thursday Google's official TikTok page responded to Oliver's name change showing support for what he did.

"More like [clicked] the right button," they commented.

Despite this, Google have appeared to remove his name and it is now known on Google Maps as Westhoven Street Playground — though allegedly, some locals still lovingly refer to it as Tester Park.

How easy is it to change names on Google Maps?

Reactions online have included people saying they too have gotten away with changing names of places, but it usually gets picked up by someone and changed eventually.

"I did this with an indoor playground and it got 300k searches until they changed it," shared one person.

Google Maps instructions show they do have a 'suggest an edit' button where you can submit an edit for a name, but it usually is sent off for review by Google. You're also able to 'add a missing place' for unnamed places, but this too is sent off to Google for review.

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