GPS discrepancies becoming a problem for some MB homeowners

GPS discrepancies becoming a problem for some MB homeowners

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - You're probably pretty dependent on sites like Google Maps to get you where you need to go. You may even rely on the mapping app on your phone to navigate you to your destination. But if you're trying to get to some addresses in Myrtle Beach – in some areas, neither is going to do the job.

It's not that your GPS system isn't working, it's that the address you might be looking for isn't yet in the system.

"In this electronic age, everybody is using GPS. Just about everybody," said Myrtle Beach homeowner Paul Page.

Everyone is using GPS, except for Page. His GPS can't take him to his own home in Emmens Preserve, because his one-year-old house doesn't show up on the map. This causes issues not only for friends who want to drive by, but also deliveries, and bills.

He said navigating to his home has been "very interesting for the last year."

The problem isn't just with those who rely on GPS. The City of Myrtle Beach gave Page's house, and a house one street over, the exact same number, causing more confusion for normal services like trash pick-up.

"Three times they haven't gotten to me, and I had a call saying, 'There is no garbage,'" Page said. "Well there was none there. But there was down here."

Lisa Holzberger, who works on mapping the geographic information system for the city, says Page's problem isn't really a fluke.

"It's definitely city-wide," said Holzberger, the GIS coordinator.

With new large subdivisions and groups of homes popping up in a matter of months, the city is growing too fast for the systems. For technology, it can be a game of catch up.

"GPS unit providers, they are having a difficult time keeping up with the growth,"Holzberger explained.

For the city, it's called address discrepancies, which can sometimes happen between the information shared between developers, builders, and the city to get a home registered and built.

"We work together as much as we can to try and resolve it," Holzberger said.

Page just wants to know for sure someone can get to him when he needs it the most: in an emergency.

"Because there have been so many problems, and I am the only house on the block," exclaimed Page. "And see if they can find us. Because I really don't think that they will."

WMBF News asked and Holzberger stressed that emergency response is not an issue. She says Myrtle Beach police and fire use a more sophisticated system, and it's updated every day. As far as third-party companies, it's hard to find detailed information about how often Google Maps or GPS companies update their maps, but it seems to take at least a year.

The City of Myrtle Beach gets calls and emails about address discrepancies in different areas, and so now a solution is in the works to streamline the process. Holzberger is working on an online form where you can directly contact her office when you realize there's a problem. The issue can be with the city, your developer, or your GPS not being updated.

Either way, Holzberger says the sooner you report it, the sooner the city can try and help.

"We will try to come up with a work around whenever we have some type of solution," Holzberger said. "We try to work in the best interest of the citizen, but we also have to work out what's best for emergency responders too."

This new online form is still being tested out, but it should be ready for you to use in the next couple of months.

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