Help ma’ boab! Google gadgies sink Scottish island

Posted on July 11, 2013


Jura, the Scottish island where legendary author George Orwell penned his perennial novel 1984, has disappeared from sight on Google Maps.

Following complaints from Jura residents and tourists in the region that the island was nowhere to be seen on Google Maps, the search giant issued an apology.

Speaking to, a Google spokesperson apologised for the blunder, adding that the company is aware of the problem and its engineers are working hard to resolve the issue.

However, as of Wednesday this week, the island still hasn’t been raised from the cold depths of the Atlantic. While its satellite photograph is, of course, still visible, when users switch to Map view only a lonely stretch of road is visible snaking its way across what should be Jura’s south and eastern shores. A number of smaller land masses that fringe Jura are still visible in Map view, providing a vague and broken outline of the island.

Jura, situated in the west Scottish region of Argyll, occupies more than 140 square miles but is home to fewer than 200 people.

This isn’t the first time Google Maps has made a memorable and, for some, humorous goof. Two French islands off the coast of Canada went missing in a similar fashion to Jura back in 2010, leaving only their roads visible in the Maps view.

However, the programme’s internet marketing successes have been equally as memorable. As an April Fools prank in 2012, Google posted a video to YouTube that demonstrated the fictional release of an 8-bit version of the Google Maps software for the Nintendo Entertainment System, one of the most popular video game consoles of the 80s.


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