What's special about 23208 Glenbrook Street, St Clair Shores, MI 48082?

This thread reminded me of a Google Maps oddity I found a while back.

Normally, you can enter a latitude/longitude and get taken to the map in the right location, e.g. enter “12,34” and you’ll get a map of 12ºN, 34ºE.

However, if you enter “0,0”, something odd happens. You get a marker showing up at the intersection of the Greenwich Meridian and the Equator, as you’d expect, just off the coast of Africa. But it is labelled as an address in Michigan.

Linkety link (you need to zoom out a bit to see the map)

It’s a real address, and if you Google it you get quite a few results that suggest certain websites also give this as an address when the lat/long are given as 0,0.

So what the heck is so special about this street in St Clair Shores? Is it the centre of the known universe or what?

Interesting. Could this be something placed by an IT guy, sorta an easter egg type device? Or maybe one of those mistakes purposely done to aid in IDing inappropriate use of a map?

Oh well, bump anyway.

Just to throw out a guess, could it be where one of the founders of Google lived? Weren’t those guys, at least one of them, from Michigan.

You mean a Copyright Trap?

Yes, that was what I was thinking of. Thanks. Guess an aster egg type of nod might be more applicable.

Interesting. It appears to be a rather unprepossessing bungalow with three bedrooms and one bathroom.

Weird, some other poster just noticed the exact same issue with Mount Rushmore being in Portland, Oregon.

I contacted the help desk at google maps to see if they could give their input…

I think you’re a little confused – an aster egg is found in Google Sky.

:smiley: Spelling is not my fort. {sic}

I’ve had no reply from the help desk.

For some reason, even though the address Google Maps gives for 0,0 is 23208 Glenbrook St., it places the marker in the right place, that is at the intersection of the equator and prime meridian.

I bet the homeowners are wondering where all their mail’s been going lately.

I looked at a bunch of those results, and they all refer to Google Maps. So it does not appear to be the case that “certain websites also give this as an address when the lat/long are given as 0,0”, but rather that various websites have, like you, noted this particular oddity on Google Maps.

Asking for directions, it sends you to St. Clair Shores, not the middle of the ocean.

The Feedback column in New Scientist magazine has run a series of these. You find these for addresses all over the world. It all seems to come down to some default mechanism that puts in 0,0 if the proper coordinates are left off or somehow deleted. Not very interesting an explanation, unfortunately.

Cecil Adams on the subject:
Do maps have “copyright traps” to permit detection of unauthorized copies? (August 16, 1991)