As regulars of Support and HUMTAB may be aware I am very interested in correcting erroneous map pins on TA and other mapping related problems.
At it worst according to the TA map data base Hursley, Hampshire and 58 other south eastern English towns lived under a tree on a minor country road near Chard in the west of England at a hamlet called New England http://goo.gl/maps/Lxmv5
The number of misplaced pins gradually reduced until last week only Brook remained and I hoped TA had finally cracked the problem but unfortunately this week the list leapt back up to 30 towns including both new entries and ones that had previously been corrected.
I assume TA has a script running with the laudable intent of correcting incorrect pins but instead it is running amok with no checking of the changes it is making as it moves correct pins to invalid locations. (I assume no TA employee is so incompetent that they would be doing this by hand)
It needs to be found and stopped ASAP!
It is not just the Travel Map that is affected when TA loses or misplaces cities, it destroys the usability of the Android and iPad adds and prevents the use of the interactive map on the main website.
I noticed a few other misplaced map pins which while not large clusters like the Chard one may shed some light on the bug.
The town of Burgess Hill was pinned to a tiny lane named Burgess Hill, Hastings was pinned to Hastings lane and Poole was pinned to the tiny hamlet of Poole, Cheshire rather than the major seaside resort of Poole Dorset. So technically correct but also totally incorrect!
Geocoders are optimised to find the closest matching address to the current centre of the map on the assumption that if you are in Chard and looking for Burgess hill you are probably looking for the nearby road rather than the town 200 miles away and not Burgess, Virginia or Burgess Junction, Wyoming!
The clusters I have found have England in the street name (eg New England near Chard, East of England way near Peterborough and England's Lane in London) so the Geocoder is taking England from the locations country and matching it against a minor street!
There is no point in manually reporting and correcting pins whilst the bug is continuing to introduce fresh errors faster than they can be corrected - hopefully the rogue script has left some trace of its actions that can be used to undo the damage it has caused
A better way to detect incorrect map pins would be to compare the distance from the town's pin to that of each of the town's hotels and other listings - where the distance is excessive you then need to investigate which pin is wrong.