Google has been accused of purposefully guiding tourists away from LA’s famous Hollywood sign to neighbouring attractions such as the Griffith observatory and Hollywood Boulevard – after coming under pressure from homeowners angered by hordes of oglers.
Google Maps and GPS firm Garmin have been under suspicion after sightseers complained of being misdirected away from the landmark whilst attempting to locate it, ending up as much as four miles away at a nearby shopping centre.
The site even prevents users from plotting hiking routes up to the monument.
The finger of blame is being directed at moneyed residents getting together to campaign for less intrusion, claiming that local road infrastructure is insufficient to deal with the pressures placed on it by throngs of holidaymakers.
Alissa Walker, a campaigner for clearer maps, said: “What’s happening in Hollywood is a disturbing peek into the future of digital cartography. A few dozen homeowners in one of the city’s wealthiest zip codes — who bought their homes knowing (I assume) about the letters hanging just outside their bedroom windows — have found a way to keep people out of their neighbourhood by manipulating technology. This is the next iteration of a gated community.”
Google declined to comment on the issue.