The thrill of putting something on the (Google) map

I’ve had the honor of literally putting something on the map. Google Maps, to be exact.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s definition of to put (something or someone) on the map is to make (a place, person, etc.) famous or well-known. What I’ve put on the map definitely fits into the “etc.” category—a life-size iron deer.

It all started when I couldn’t find the Court House Deer in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on Google Maps. I kept zooming in, expecting to see a pin for him appear at any moment. But it didn’t.

I was surprised—he’s famous, after all. Well, well-known in his hometown, anyway. I assumed that he would automatically be deemed worthy of a Google Maps site pin.

I wondered if there was any way to submit something to Google Maps, and after a little googling discovered that yes, there is. I submitted my suggested addition and shortly afterward got this response in my Gmail:

It was pretty exciting, not the same as but pretty close to the feeling when I saw “your manuscript has been accepted” on Amazon’s publishing website. I couldn’t wait to see his name on the map. I open Google Maps on my phone and computer now and then just to see it–oddly, sometimes it doesn’t appear.

I’m not saying that I figuratively put him on the map. After all, the Court House Deer is famous in Wilkes-Barre already, and has been for decades. So much so that I just finished writing a book about him, about newspaper articles written about him in the 1880s in which he was regularly “interviewed” by a local reporter about his views on local events and people (some of them are pretty funny).

A few days ago, I got this update from Google Maps:

Given the interest in him, clearly there was some sort of accidental omission when the points of interest were added to Google Maps for Wilkes-Barre. It’s good to know that his fans can now find him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s