SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — As city police and crews are working to wipe Silicon Valley’s largest homeless camp off the map, one anonymous person intends to keep it on another.

Wednesday and Thursday was move-out day for the more than 200 residents of “The Jungle” at Coyote Creek, south of downtown San Jose. But take a closer look at the land where it sits on top of in Google Maps, and you’ll see it’s been designated as a landmark, marked with features like “Homeless Trail,” “Bridge to Nowhere” and “The Jungle Path.”

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It’s the work of one sole user named “Geosphere,” who since Dec. 2 has added at least 25 different paths, trails and intersections using Google’s Map Maker.

UPDATE: At about 2:20 p.m., less than one hour after this story was posted, user “Jilliams” deleted several of these features.



Anyone’s allowed to add places, edit places, add roads and review edits in Maps since Google first opened up the U.S. version  for editing in 2011.

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But edits have to go through an approval process moderated by experienced users or reviewers at Google to ensure quality and protect vandalism. Occasionally, reviewers will ask questions or make suggestions, or maybe even request more information to verify and validate the edits.

Users who make quality contributions are less monitored and can be published on the map immediately.

Geosphere’s user profile shows he or she has made 506 edits at 32 points of interests over the last 65 days, and has also has several negative reviews.

CBS SF has requested a comment from Google but has not heard back by the time this was posted. This article will be updated as needed.

(Google Maps)

(Google Maps)


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