back to article Microsoft can't tell North from South on Bing Maps

Microsoft has misplaced Melbourne, the four-million-inhabitant capital of the Australian State of Victoria. A search on Bing Maps for “Melbourne, Victoria, Australia” says the city is at 37.813610, 144.963100 which we've screen-captured above (or here for those reading our mobile site). The co-ordinates are right save for one …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Microsoft has misplaced Melbourne, the four-million-inhabitant capital of the Australian State of Victoria."

    That's because the cartographers are american.

    1. linicks

      "That's because the cartographers are american."

      Well, as the old saying goes - Americans learn geography from war. Seeing as they have never gone to war with the Aussies, how can they know where Australia is?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Tsk

        A lot of Yanks died on Guadalcanal to impede the advancing Japanese Empire from eventually taking Australia, so we should know where it is.

        Elsewhere, more Yanks died alongside plenty of Aussies and New Zeelanders, and yes, even the English, Welsh, Scots, Canadians, Free French and plenty more, and all while no one was actually threatening to invade US, and when we were done and could have totally dominated the world politically, we instead poured out our treasure attempting to help rebuild many shattered countries.

        So I respectfully request that you be silent about things you don't understand.

        1. Kernel Silver badge

          Re: Tsk

          "So I respectfully request that you be silent about things you don't understand."

          Said war would have been a lot easier to win for the Allies if it hadn't been for the enthusiastic support of Nazi Germany by certain US industries - so it's probably a subject best kept quiet about.

          1. Zakhar
            FAIL

            Godwin's point reached!

            Pity, comments at El Reg are often more fun than the article itself, but in this case we reached the Godwin's point at the 5th post !..

          2. jeffdyer

            Re: Tsk

            Quite. I was reading a "A new history of the Automobile" just this weekend and was quite shocked just how close some American industry magnates were to the Nazi leaders.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tsk @ Big John

          "we instead poured out our treasure attempting to help rebuild many shattered countries."

          I think you will find that "pouring out your treasures", was only a loan. Britain only finally paid off this debt in 2006

          As someone once said "I respectfully request that you be silent about things you don't understand."

          Oh sorry, that seems to have been you.

        3. James O'Shea Silver badge

          Re: Tsk

          aah... John, m'man, American territory _was_ invaded during WWII. Guam was invaded early on. USS Guam, one of only two American battlecruisers actually completed (Saratoga and Lexington became aircraft carriers) was completed while Guam was occupied. Wake Island, a.k.a. 'the Alamo of the Pacific' repelled the first Japanese assault, which made 'em mad so they got out the heavy hammer for the second assault. Two of the Aleutian Islands, way up north in Alaskan waters, were briefly occupied. When the assault force to take them back, which included some Canadian troops who'd been promised to not be 'sent overseas' when they enlisted and were therefore very annoyed, arrived and took casualties during the landing, it turned out that the Japanese had had a good look around and had decided to let the Americans keep the damn useless lumps of frozen rock and had left. All casualties were from accidents or friendly fire, 'cause the Japs were gone. The only other battlecruiser completed for the US Navy was USS Alaska.

          And, oh, the USN lucked out something awesome at Midway, part of the operation whereby the Japanese grabbed the above-mentioned lumps of frozen rock. That invasion was called off after sheer luck allowed the USN to sink four Japanese and so gut the Kido Butai, the Fast Striking Force. Yes, it was sheer luck; the, to quote Admiral Nagumo, 'American samurai' of the torpedo-bomber squadrons died to no effect... except pulling down the Japanese fighter CAP to low level, while completely by accident the American dive bombers came in unopposed from high level and killed three carriers. the American dive bombers got lost on their way to the Kido Butai. Some turned around and went home. One group arbitrarily made a left turn... and arrived above the Kido Butai just as the last of the torpedo planes were being massacred. The third group spotted a Japanese destroyer running at full speed to rejoin the fleet after attacking the submarine USS Archerfish, which had put several torpedoes, all duds 'cause the USN's Bureau of Weapons had had a truly monumental screw-up in the design, into a battleship escorting the carrier force. The dive bombers didn't attack the destroyer, they just extrapolated its course and arrived over the Kido Butai at the same time as the other dive bombers, but from a different direction. Even had the CAP seen them, the two separate attacks would have split the defense. But the CAP was busy killing torpedo planes and didn't see them allowing the dive bombers to pick their targets completely unopposed; most of the Kido Butai's antiaircraft guns were pointed low, to kill torpedo planes, not high, and it took time they didn't have to correct this. But for that, the US would have lost Midway, too, and _that_ was a dagger aimed directly ay Hawaii. And if Japan took Hawaii, next stop would have been the Panama Canal. (No, not the American west coast, Japan didn't have a big enough army to both invade the US mainland and hammer China, and as hammering China was the whole reason for the war in the first place, they weren't going to pull troops out of China. Panama, now, that was doable.)

          1. Bloakey1

            Re: Tsk

            <snip>

            "hat invasion was called off after sheer luck allowed the USN to sink four Japanese and so gut the Kido Butai, the Fast Striking Force. Yes, it was sheer luck; the, to quote Admiral Nagumo, 'American samurai' of the torpedo-bomber squadrons died to no effect."

            <snip>

            That was not "sheer luck" at all. A US intelligence unit in Pearl Harbour had decrypted various messages, had done traffic analysis (actual and electronic) and had worked their way through the mire of dodgy messages, reassignment of ships to others etc. and decided that this is where they would be. They then had to fight a rearguard action against naysayers in Washington and the Phillipines but in the end NImitz trusted the guy in question and a victory was achieved.

            Not luck at all, good signals intelligence. look up HYPO and a brilliant sailor called Joe Rochefort.

            1. James O'Shea Silver badge

              Re: Tsk @Bloakey1

              Joe Rocheforte and his boys did their jobs, and did them well, allowing Nimitz to send out what was left of the American fleet to engage. Problem: Yorktown had been severely damaged in the previous battle. It should not have been possible to make repairs in time. They almost sailed with civilian dockworkers on board; the last repairs were made by the crew, en route to Midway. Problem: Halsey was sick, with a severe rash. They needed a replacement, quick. The only one available was a career cruiser man named 'Spruance'. Spruance was senior to Fletcher, the other admiral available, and so had overall command despite being a career surface forces man. No-one knew, then, that he was the greatest carrier admiral there ever was or would be.

              The bad luck for the Americans started when a PBY patrol aircraft spotted the Japanese alpha strike going in towards Midway, and radioed in 'many planes headed Midway', notably leaving out minor details such as overall strength and composition. The good luck started when the cruiser Tone, one of the escorts for the Kido Butai, had a problem with it catapult and was late launching it recon aircraft. By sheer luck, the area that Tone's aircraft was supposed to patrol was the area containing the American fleet. The recon seaplane was late getting there due to the late launch, and when it did detect American ships didn't see a carrier... and so reported back. For over an hour Nagumo didn't know that there were American ships at sea, and for another half hour he didn't know that there was at least one carrier. That turned out to be critical.

              Further bad luck for the Americans followed when the Japanese alpha strike hit Midway, and effectively destroyed the American air defense; only two out of 28 fighters remained airworthy when the Japanese left. The alpha strike suffered some loses, and other aircraft, including that of the strike commander, were damaged.

              Additional bad luck for the Americans came when all of the B-17s based on Midway attempted to bomb the Kido Butai, scoring no hits. Next came the Midway-based torpedo bombers: two B-26s and five TBFs. Three TBFs were shot down, and all the other aircraft damaged. One B-26 attempted to ram the Kido Butai's flagship (what, you thought that it was _Japan_ who invented the Kamikaze?) but failed when the pilot lost consciousness from loss of blood and the co-pilot didn't think that it was a good day to die.

              The alpha strike commander had radioed in that there was a need for a second strike at Midway. The B5N heavy attack aircraft ('Kate' to the US) could carry bombs for land attack or torpedoes for anti-shipping. The dive bombers could carry thin-skinned bombs for attacking buildings or heavy bombs for anti-ship. The Kido Butai had retained some of both types when sending out the alpha strike. They were configured anti-ship. Nagumo ordered them reconfigured for land attack... before the bombers from Midway arrived. And before Tone's seaplane reported in that there was at least one American carrier at sea. While they were in the middle of all this, the torpedo planes from the American fleet started arriving. The 'American samurai' showed every intention of bringing their torpedoes as close as possible before launching, and, like the B-26 driver, several showed a definite intent to ram. Torpedo Squadron 8, from USS Hornet, sent 10 aircraft out, each with a crew of three. There was only one survivor. Not one surviving aircraft, one surviving aircrew. The American carrier torpedo planes pressed home their attack against everything the Japanese could throw at them. Torpedo 6, from Enterprise, sent 14 aircraft. They got back 4, all damaged. Torpedo 3, from Yorktown, sent in 12, got back 2, all damaged. Some American fighters were close enough to have supported the torpedo planes, if they had been so inclined. None were. One of the Torpedo 6 aircrew had to be pulled off a fighter pilot when he got back to the carrier. So far the US had lost twenty-plus fighters over Midway and another few damaged, plus all of the Midway-based torpedo planes either destroyed or sufficiently damaged as to be no longer airworthy, plus effectively all of three complete carrier torpedo squadrons and had zero hits from air-launched torpedoes. The only hits, three submarine-launched torpedoes from USS Archerfish, were duds. Japan had light losses.

              Nagumo, badly scared by at least two attempts by American aircraft to ram not merely his flagship but the bridge deck from which he was watching the battle, ordered his carriers to stop rearming with bombs for land attack and rearm with torpedoes for anti-ship, and he did so while the last of the carrier torpedo planes were still attacking. Which meant that when the dive bombers of Scouting 6 and Bombing 6, off Enterprise, and Bombing 3, off Yorktown, arrived, the Japanese carriers were packed with aircraft being refueled (part of the alpha strike had returned) and rearmed. Perfect targets for heavy bombs. At 10:24 AM, 4 June 1942, Japan was winning the war. At 10:26, they had lost. It just took three more years to convince them.

              When the Kido Butai was lost, it was more than just the ships. It was the aircrews, the best carrier aircrews in the world, the men who had owned the sea and the sky above it from China to Hawaii to Ceylon. It took fifteen months or more to train aircrews to that level. Japan didn't have 15 months to burn. In addition, all the deck crews who serviced the aircraft were lost with the carriers. They were as highly trained as the aircrews, and as completely irreplaceable. And, oh, the commander of the alpha strike took off in his damaged Kate to hunt American carriers, knowing that he only had fuel for a one-way trip. Japan lost a lot of their best commanders, too. (They didn't lose Nagumo. Pity. He should have been awarded the Medal of Honor for all that he did to make the American victory possible.)

              The Americans took heavy loses: Yorktown was sunk, as was a destroyer, and they lost a lot of aircrew. But the Americans were already starting to mass-produce the Essex-class carriers, and they could turn out aircrew in six to nine months. Their crews weren't as good as the Japanese, but there were an awful lot of them, and in the words of Stalin, quantity has a quality all its own.

              Japan had to cut corners on the training program, and it showed. By 1944 the best Americans were as good as most Japanese, and there were a lot of Americans. Spruance would send his aircraft up into the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot where hordes of Americans flying superior aircraft wiped out Japanese carrier air. By 1945 Japan was reduced to desperate measures; Saburo Sakai, one of the old hands from China who had been severely shot up over the Solomon Islands and lost an eye in the process (and flew back nearly 500 miles and made a successful landing just the same) was dragged out of retirement after 18 months on the ground, promoted to an officer (the severely class-conscious Japanese very rarely promoted enlisted men into the officer ranks) and told to fly escort for kamikazes. His flight had two other escorts, both green newbies, and a dozen or so kamikazes when they were intercepted by 18 Hellcats from US Pacific Fleet. Sakai told the newbies to get the kamikazes home, and held off the Hellcats by himself, shooting down three, before escaping back to base. Remember, he was blind in one eye... that's the calibre of the Imperial Japanese Navy's aircrews in the late 1930s to early 1940s. The best there ever was.

              Spruance got them, anyway. With a lot of luck and a lot of assistance from Nagumo.

        4. Oengus Silver badge

          Re: Tsk

          New Zeelanders That would be New Zealanders....

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Big John - Re: Tsk

          Nobody said Americans were not brave soldiers, all that has been said is they're lousy at geography. Anyone remembers the Chinese embassy in Belgrade being transformed into rubble during the Balkans war ?

          1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

            Re: @Big John - Tsk

            You're all missing the point here. This is Microsoft, not the good old US of A.

            So the real question should be: "why does Microsoft hate Australia?"

            The answer, of course, is that Microsoft doesn't hate anyone. They just want your money, and control of your systems. Data accuracy is way down on the list of things they care about.

        6. Alex Piccinini

          Re: Tsk

          I sincerely and respectfully request that you read a book called "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" followed by "More Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" before you post such unmitigated and frankly offensive garbage on the internet.

          If you're too lazy the read you can always read the Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confessions_of_an_Economic_Hit_Man

          People like the above poster give significant weight to the argument that people need to have licences in order to post (and also a licence to breed)

      3. glen waverley

        how americans learn geography ...

        "Seeing as they have never gone to war with the Aussies, how can they know where Australia is?"

        Battle of Brisbane? WW2. The ever reliable source has details.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Brisbane

        1. CbD1234567890

          Re: how americans learn geography ...

          The same "reliable" source Microsoft used thus resulting in Melbourne shifting North?

      4. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
        WTF?

        >Well, as the old saying goes - Americans learn geography from war. Seeing as they have never gone to war with the Aussies, how can they know where Australia is?

        The CIA knew where it was when they destabilised the Australian government. It always makes me laugh when the yanks bleat on about democracy while getting rid of any democratically elected government that they dislike. Too many to list so here's just one: http://www.williambowles.info/spysrus/cia_australia.html

    2. FrankAlphaXII

      If they were American they would have thought it was a City in Florida with the same name, population 76,868.

      1. James O'Shea Silver badge

        I've been to Melbourne, Florida. It's just barely a wide spot on US1 northbound from Miami.

    3. William 3 Bronze badge

      Acceptable to ridicule an entire nation

      Can you please explain why it's acceptable to ridicule an entire nation of Americans & use Yanks in a derogatory fashion.

      I couldn't imagine you doing the same about Islam and "Pakis".

      1. James O'Shea Silver badge

        Re: Acceptable to ridicule an entire nation

        I can, and have, called Pakis Pakis. I've also been known to point out that Scotland is where men are men (except for Tony Blair, he's a poodle), women are men, too, and sheep are nervous.

        And there's this, one of my fav True Statements:

        In Heaven…

        the mechanics are German

        the chefs are French

        the police are British

        the lovers are Italian

        and everything is organized by the Swiss.

        In Hell…

        the mechanics are French

        the police are German

        the chefs are British

        the lovers are Swiss

        and everything is organized by the Italians.

        Stop whinging, Yank. And that goes double if you're one of those Johnny Reb Yanks, the worst kind.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Acceptable to ridicule an entire nation

        > "Can you please explain why it's acceptable to ridicule an entire nation of Americans & use Yanks in a derogatory fashion."

        It's because they know their own countries aren't any better and usually worse. So they selectively point out bad examples about the U.S. while pretending the good things don't exist or are overridden by evil acts somewhere else.

        As an example, it's a fact that in WWII, 407 thousand Americans died fighting mostly in foreign countries for the purpose of defending those countries, BUT, a few U.S. manufacturers had contracts with Nazi Germany before the war!

        Hmmm, I wonder how many other countries had such contracts too...?

        What bothers me isn't that they do it, it's that they do it again and again. So very tiresome. They seem to think it's their job to inform the world just how rotten the entire history of the U.S. really is. As if their own countries' histories are only two days long.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Acceptable to ridicule an entire nation

          It's because they know their own countries aren't any better and usually worse. So they selectively point out bad examples about the U.S. while pretending the good things don't exist or are overridden by evil acts somewhere else.

          If you want to play a superpower you should grow a thicker skin.

          Acting as if other countries matter (even if they really don't, in the grand scheme of things) might also help; however, this have always been optional for countries within the imperial phase of their life cycle.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Acceptable to ridicule an entire nation

            > "If you want to play a superpower you should grow a thicker skin."

            In other words... "Be quiet or I shall taunt you a second time!"

            1. Mellipop

              Re: Acceptable to ridicule an entire nation

              Pretty much. I'm surprised you had the gumption to post a second time. I'd recommend you keep your head down.

              Most of 'les rosbifs' have forgotten what the thread is about and are just bating you.

              Me? I'm an Aussie, but as I was born in Sydney I don't mind that Melbourne was displaced.

  2. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    I can't believe it matters. Nobody uses bing maps do they?

    1. BugabooSue

      @anthonyhegedus

      Until this article, I honestly didn't know that Bing Maps existed.

      Apparently, for my own safety, I should now forget they exist! :)

    2. Tim 11

      Bing maps has a killer feature compared to Google (for UK residents at least) - OS landranger and explorer maps for free. Not that I use it for anything else though

  3. Commswonk Silver badge
    FAIL

    Melbourne Relocated - Official

    Well the Australians had just better get used to it, because the likelihood of Microsoft admitting the mistake and putting it right is somewhat small.

    1. Tac Eht Xilef

      Re: Melbourne Relocated - Official

      No, you're thinking of Mozilla...

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Melbourne Relocated - Official

      "putting it right is somewhat small." - I think never would be more accurate.

  4. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    Of course MS misplaced it...

    When has anyone at MS been able to find their own arse with a map, a torch, a Sherpa guide, & nanometer-accurate GPS?

    They can't even find a simple CLUE much less anything as elusive as Australia. =-J

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      In defense of the fat-fingered blunderer, let us not forget that Australia bites. Venomously.

      1. james 68

        As does every single damned thing in it.

        Including the women (There's a story there that I'm not going to get into right now).

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "ncluding the women (There's a story there that I'm not going to get into right now)."

          Pictures, or it didn't happen.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            What he said.

        2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

          Playmobil diorama or it didn't happen!

  5. hitmouse

    For years, Bing maps has totally relocated dozens of Sydney landmarks around the city as it indiscriminately treated X street in the CBD as X street in another suburb, Notifying them of the scale of these errors (via feedback, twitter etc) has been a thankless exercise.

    Bing also has a gift for identifying the main location of some institutions at minor branch locations. It placed the University of NSW in Manly for several years, and now places it at the location of its small College of Fine Arts, several km from its main campus. At least it's now on the correct side of the Harbour.

    Anyway, all you need to do is open Bing maps in a neighbourhood you know well, to find dozens of businesses that you heretofore thought were located elsewhere: beach holiday resorts in suburban streets. It's hilarious.

    Much of the data appears to come from the Australian Yellow Pages, which - from following links - seems to be years out of date. Obviously a poor partner for Bing's local offerings.

    1. Magani
      FAIL

      "We're the Hakowi" - F Troop

      As others have mentioned I was unaware that Bing did things other than try to emulate G**gle in the search engine dept, so I went to look at my local neighbourhood. I'm really glad I don't use it for navigation!

      Findings to date:-

      * Local Target is in the middle of an intersection hundreds of metres from real location

      * Aus Post is in the wrong shopping centre

      * Local bridal shop is about 5kms east of where it really is

      * Our favourite Chinese is 500m along the wrong street

      * Two local Pizza outlets and a local burger joint are both located in (different) residential houses nowhere near their real locations

      * Local pharmacy located where a Shell servo is (and servos are not mentioned anywhere)

      etc, etc, etc.

      What a farce!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "We're the Hakowi" - F Troop

        well, showing things a few hundred meters from where they are is not too bad.

        According to bing maps, in my neighbourhood (which is in a major european capital) there is simply nothing. No houses, no businesses, no public transit, no university which i can see from where i sit now. Simply nothing.

        i mean if they'd have taken the maps from the last time the american troops were passing through, there would have already been an airfield and a research centre; this is actually how the area was at the end of the 19th century!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "We're the Hakowi" - F Troop

          Near me it has a Costa Coffee on a country track that is a dead end (I assume it's supposed to be part of the nearby services on the motorway, which would put it about 300m out).

      2. hitmouse

        Re: "We're the Hakowi" - F Troop

        I tracked a local business around the corner from me back to a current Yellow Pages listing. However there has not been anything there for a decade, unless the rotting premises of a long abandoned fish and chips shop qualifies as worthy of Yellow Pages relevance.

        I should note that for the first two years after Ikea opened its flagship store in Tempe, Google Maps showed a vacant lot. But then again, most American companies can't put two and two together without an Allen key.

      3. Mr Dogshit

        Re: "We're the Hakowi" - F Troop

        Yeah, as if Google maps are perfect. Their take on my neighbourhood includes listing a shitty little shop selling pet fish as if it were a major landmark and referring to the local cemetery by the name of a piece of land opposite which was built over in about 1920. They're clearly just grabbing old out of copyright maps and sticking on a few bells and whistles.

        P.S. Bing maps in the UK is way better - there's an OS view and the aerial photos are much better.

        P.P.S. Melbourne is in Derbyshire. And somewhere near Royston.

      4. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

        Re: "We're the Hakowi" - F Troop

        No, we're the Fugawi.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Meh

      Well, Bing stores maps as tiles, so given their success with the start menu it's unsurprising really.

  6. kwyj

    Please try to keep up

    Typical Reg. We've resided in the Northern hemisphere since 2002. http://www.satirewire.com/news/jan02/australia.shtml

  7. Steve 114

    Australia's moving North as fast as your fingernails grow. Faster than ever, last year. So Microsoft are just a bit ahead of themselves, for once.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge
      Boffin

      "Australia's moving North as fast as your fingernails grow. Faster than ever, last year. So Microsoft are just a bit ahead of themselves, for once."

      So what you're saying is, about when Australia is entirely in the Northern Hemisphere, Windows will work perfectly?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Tannin

          "Actually, Australia is moving at about 7cm a year, which is about double the rate of fingernail growth."

          Actually, he said fingernails. Plural. So, taking the conservatibe view that the plural indicates two rather than some larger number, 7cm a year woud be about right.

          (Just stand there for a year with your arms outstretched and your fingers pointing in opposite directions.)

          (Try not to scratch.)

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Bing, Google, etc...

    The problem with maps from Bing, Google, etc is that the information they hold has not been specifically drawn together. Instead, Bing, Google, et al take a load of datasets and try and automatically link them into a map. The data isn't always accurate and there's no human involved to provide sanity checks.

    1. Mikel

      Re: Bing, Google, etc...

      Bing Is Not Google. Come on now, it's right there in the name.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bing, Google, etc...

      Let's not go throwing Google and Bing in the same sentence. Bing is still a mess, despite the billions upon billions of dollars Microsoft has spent on it.

      I'm glad that Bing is a failure. There needs to be another strong company in consumer tech instead of Microsoft just owning everything and then slacking off and sloppily throwing out half baked "products." It is so much better with Google and Apple.

      1. Bloakey1

        Re: Bing, Google, etc...

        <snip>

        "It is so much better with Google and Apple."

        Well I never thought that I would see those letters strung together in such a way.

        Well done that man and errr, hmmm, errrr.

    3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Bing, Google, etc...

      A map is not the territory.

      1. DropBear Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Bing, Google, etc...

        "A map is not the territory."

        Yeah, about that... I never understood what that was supposed to mean. Unless there exist such simpletons who actually believe Melbourne is now somehow magically actually in the northern hemisphere purely because of a map. Or is "a clock is not the time" a thing now too...? Assuming nobody ever saw two different clocks not quite agreeing what the exact time is...? So it needs spelling out one or both of them can be wrong...? How much further into "this bag is not a toy" territory do we really need to nanny ourselves...?

  9. Baldy50

    Sod the story.

    Why is someone working on Sunday at THE REG?

    Can't be the time difference it's still Sunday there too.

    1. Dead Parrot

      Re: Sod the story.

      Probably asked Cortana for a wake-up call on Monday morning. It was bound to fuck up.

  10. Dwarf Silver badge

    If I remember correctly

    Didn't one of the Microsoft strap lines claim

    "Microsoft Windows, Where do you want to go today ?"

    Well it looks like we can add this to the growing list of things we can't trust them for.

    It does show how bad the lack of basic testing is for anything they throw out the door

    I bet the reason they stopped using that strapline is because with the ongoing Windows 10 alpha programme, they haven't got any stability - like the recent webcam debacle.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: If I remember correctly

      I bet the reason they stopped using that strapline is because with the ongoing Windows 10 alpha programme, they haven't got any stability - like the recent webcam debacle.

      It's more appropriate than ever, though one might find that not being able to control where you want to go is a bit of a problem there.

      And clearly, Microsoft is unable to control where they're going as well, though their general direction appears to be 'pot'.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: If I remember correctly

      "Microsoft Windows, Where do you want to go today ?"

      Well it looks like we can add this to the growing list of things we can't trust them for."

      I think it was always a rhetorical question. If it wasn't, it is now.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where do you want to go today ?

      ""Microsoft Windows, Where do you want to go today ?"

      Are you sure it wasn't "What did you want to work today?"

      That's the one I remember anyway, even if Wikipedia remembers the travel-related one.

    4. James O'Shea Silver badge

      "Microsoft Windows, Where do you want to go today ?"

      I once saw a sig which read something like:

      "We are Microsoft of Borg. Where you want to go to today is irrelevant. What you want to do is irrelevant. We will take your currency and add it to our own. Bend over right now. Resistance is futile."

      Somehow I don't think that he was a fan of Redmond.

  11. Dead Parrot

    I can't figure out if it's been wrong for 5+ years and we've only just noticed (possible, if no bugger uses it) or if it was right and they decided to move it anyway. Seriously, why the fuck would you do that?

    1. Mikel

      Big data is hard.

  12. waldo kitty
    Facepalm

    already fixed

    amazing as it is, someone has apparently already fixed this bug...

    1. Notas Badoff

      Re: already fixed

      You mean Melbourne is a Heisenburb?

    2. agatum
      Coat

      Re: already fixed

      amazing as it is, someone has apparently already fixed this bug...

      They moved Melbourne near Japan?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: already fixed

        They probably just slipped Australia back under Melbourne.

  13. Commswonk Silver badge

    We just have to hope...

    that the target coordinates used for various submarine - launched missiles were double checked before the vessels sailed, and preferably not using Bing Maps original data.

    Could bring a whole new ghastly meaning to the expression "own goal".

    Oops...

  14. Arachnoid

    All done by the insertion of a few lines of code

    See the Iraq war did teach them something.This is just a prelude the U.S. are going to trial the system taking over Canada by virtually moving its borders upwards and go on from there.Thus in one stroke eliminating the need to send out an expensive invasion force to the country of their choice.

    All your bases are ours!

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: All done by the insertion of a few lines of code

      Trump could simply move Mexico to the southern hemisphere and not need to worry about building the wall! Plus there'd be 2000 miles of new coastline in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California!

    2. Esme

      Re: All done by the insertion of a few lines of code

      With MS handling the maps? More like 'all our base are belong to you!' 8-}

  15. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Just browsing across the UK map at the initial scale shows that quite a few places unlabelled including Horsham, Maidenhead, Wellingborough, Macclesfield, Huddersfield and Hebden Bridge.

    1. Paul Martin

      Google's Happy Valley

      Don't forget that at between Todmorden and Hebden Bridge, Google have a place called "Great Britain".

  16. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Windows

    Maybe this explains the Aussie Olympic team's disappointing performance?

    Bing Maps, the official venue directions system of the Australian Olympic Team!!

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Maybe this explains the Aussie Olympic team's disappointing performance?

      nah,

      This was the first time in recent history that they haven't had to travel to the Northern Hemisphere for the Olympics. Besides, putting it where it was, the trip to Tokyo for 2020 would be just a short hop for any athlete based in Melbourne (Australia) and not the one in Derbyshire.

      1. Diogenes

        Re: Maybe this explains the Aussie Olympic team's disappointing performance?

        I don't know about your definition of recent , but 4 Ulympics ago was Siderney (quickly checks Bing to make sure Siderney has not been moved to Siberia - nup all good)

        At least you didn't make the mistake, a print journo did, who totally forgot about the '56 Ulympics , which according to Bing maps were held just off the coast of Japan.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    I can see it now :P

    Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We thank you once again for choosing Microsoft airlines, we get you to your destination in a Bing!

    The weather is excellent today and we'll soon be making our approach for landing. The sea looks calm and if you look outside the left window you may get to see a glimpse of the capital city of Tokyo while we make our approach to Melbourne. Please be advised that... What? Excuse me ladies and gentlemen, my co-pilot is interrupting me again. <whispering voice> Of course I know what I'm doing, how often do we have to go over this? Look: maps.bing.com, look it up yourself, ok? Now stop bugging me or you'll looking for a new job! </whispering>

    We will now be making our approach, please fasten your seatbelts. It appears as if Melbourne has suffered from a minor flooding but that's nothing which our state of the art Windows 10 powered plane can't handle!

    <2 days later>

    This is CNN. Investigators are still puzzled as to why a plane heading to Melbourne suddenly ended up crash landing near the isle of Japan. This is yet another of many setbacks for Microsoft which was the first to push Windows powered planes forward after Google had grossed in tremendous success with their self-driving taxis.

    Microsoft founder Bill Gates has said to be shocked with the news of the crashing plane but that there is no reason for concern. All airplanes are said to have undergone emergency upgrades and are now using the latest release of Windows 10. When asked about the rumours which claim that a previous version of Bing maps depicted Canada to be near the south pole no further comments were given.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: I can see it now :P

      the first to push Windows powered planes forward

      Windows powered planes.

      No wonder you have to push them forward.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When producing a Google Map display for tour concerts - it was disconcerting to see a flag appear in the ocean off Japan. It was a rare Australian venue. My code extracting the "latlong" web site's string had used a general text cleaning function, That removed any leading minus sign as being just a "noise" punctuation symbol.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google Maps can also cause confusion. It only returns one answer to a query about a named place. It doesn't tell you there are several that fit the description. How it chooses the one it prefers is not obvious.

    The "Here" maps do give indications of multiple matches - but their world coverage is patchy.

  20. kain preacher Silver badge

    Could of been worse. They could of put Oz next to Florida.

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      Go

      You know, there is a Melbourne, Florida.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      could of

      One day, browsers and the Interweb will realise that 'could of' (and similar) can always be autocorrected to 'could have' or the correct shortform, 'could've'.

      There could, of course, be exceptions to that, as there sometimes are with generalisations.

  21. GrumpyKiwi
    WTF?

    Counter to the flow

    At GrumpyKiwi HQ we had a major road realignment completed six years ago (yes six). Google maps is still showing our location 200 meters up the road with dotted lines for the "new" road - attempts to correct this resulted in the location moving to 200 meters up the road in the opposite direction.

    Bing has the location correct down to within a meter or two.

    1. anothercynic Silver badge

      Re: Counter to the flow

      @GrumpyKiwi, join the Google Mapmaker programme... you may be able to correct that a bit quicker.

      :-)

  22. MrDamage
    Coat

    Victorian Numberplates

    Always used to have the tagline "On the Move"

    Looks like people will go to any length to escape the douchester capitol of Australia.

    1. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: Victorian Numberplates

      The other ones have the humourous tag line "the place to be". Clearly a sentiment that wasn't shared by the drivers of the said vehicles who were elsewhere.

    2. Diogenes

      Re: Victorian Numberplates

      At the time the second half of the tag line was ...

      "... to Queensland"

      That was the time Joh stopped death duties, and Kennett was setting about fixing the mess left behind by the previous governments

  23. harmjschoonhoven
    Facepalm

    Re: wrong hemisphere

    As educated viewers will have noticed a significant number of rotating globes shown on TV and the internet are spinning in the wrong direction - i.e. with the Sun rising in the West. In that universe you may say that Melbourne, Victoria, Australia is at +37.813610, 144.963100. But it is still downunder.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: wrong hemisphere

      "But it is still downunder."

      A antipodean friend living in the UK has one of the old-fashioned physical globes - mounted with the South Pole at the top. As an astronomer his children have grown up understanding that many things are relative.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: wrong hemisphere

        I bet he eats his eggs with the little end up, too!

  24. julianh72

    Maybe this is just a Chinese propaganda tool?

    Putting Melbourne just off the coast of Japan, would place a large amount of the Australian mainland inside the disputed South China Sea - we should probably expect an angry diplomatic statement that Australia should immediately hand over all the iron ore mines in Western Australia that are on traditional Chinese land?

  25. Winkypop Silver badge
    Happy

    Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City six years in a row

    Now claimed by the Chinese.

    Now that's off-shoring!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City six years in a row

      The Chinese are constructing an island named "Melbourne".

  26. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge
    Linux

    Penguins

    The reason they might be getting confused is because the Penguin icon ---------> is heavily associated with a product that was conceived in the northern hemisphere. So they drew the flawed conclusion that all penguins live in the north.

    I think we have now established that BING stands for "Because It's No Good".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Penguins

      There are lots of penguins in Australia.

      Coincidence? I don't think so.....

    2. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Penguins

      > I think we have now established that BING stands for "Because It's No Good".

      I always thought it stood for "Bing Is No Good", after all, recursive acronyms are kewl ...

  27. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    And let's not forget the important military and public health consequences.

    Based on Melbourne's new location, I think that an imminent kaiju attack is a definite risk. Are the Aussie armed forces and health services ready to deal with an attack by Godzilla, Mothra or Gamera? I don't think so.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And let's not forget the important military and public health consequences.

      If those guys try to attack Australia they'll get just what they deserve!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    don't knock bing maps

    In the UK, Bing maps give you ordnance survey maps, much better than Google.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Alternate explanation for mix up:

    I believe MS were trying to show the direction our data will be going...Clearly Northern hemisphere... Whereas the direction of privacy / controls is clearly going South!

  30. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    But I thought that outside of Bartertown there were no cities left in that post-holocaust hellhole.

    This "Melbourne" you speak of was knocked over in the pocyclipse. I seed it on the Tell.

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Bah!

      Maybe that's the answer. Mad Max isn't a tale of nuclear apocalypse survival, but is instead a story of the rural Aussies who were left behind after Bing Maps moved all the cities, towns and infrastucture to other parts of the world.

      If you think nuclear weapons are terrifying, try messing with Microsoft!!

  31. kain preacher Silver badge

    So are we going to see Godzilla attack Melbourne or Perth ?

  32. jmc787

    they fixed it. bloody spoilsports.

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