Where in the world is Binghamton, New York?

President Obama is taking a bus tour of upstate New York. If his driver uses the map shown on MSNBC, the President will be traveling far less than he needs to.
Here are where places ACTUALLY are in New York State. The cluster of cities in the MSNBC map are closer to Glens Falls, north of Albany.

Scranton, Pennsylvania should also be farther east and a little father south, but that error isn’t as egregious as putting Buffalo more than 400 miles east of where it actually is located.

This is why I tend to be ever so wary of GPS-type software. It’s like that episode of the American version of The Office, when Michael Scott drives into a lake or river because the GPS says there is a road ahead.

Some years ago, I was with a relative trying to find a street with GPS. I was convinced the second time through that the road we were seeking hadn’t been added to the system, but the relative tried another three or four times, with the same circular result.

Last time we drove the Charlotte, NC, the Mapquest directions took us off the highway a couple exits early, having us worm our way through unfamiliar side streets before finding our way.

I should note that bad maps is not just in the skill set of one TV network. Dustbury notes that Headline News put an Idaho town in Oklahoma. And, famously, NBC News moved Vermont to New Hampshire, eliminating New Hampshire from the map altogether, which led to an on-air correction.

Nor is it just an American thing. A Guardian correction from August 12 demonstrates why you should be absolutely sure when you use Britain (for either the United Kingdom or the island) or England (for the country).

Of course this just makes a geographically-challenged audience even more perplexed!

4 thoughts on “Where in the world is Binghamton, New York?”

  1. Well, fellow Binghamtonian, how will they ever find the birthplace of Rod Serling with THAT map?

    I always describe the location thus: “You know how NYS has a long flat part on the bottom, and then a part that squiggles down to New York City? We are right in the armpit of those junctures, just above PA. And you’ll notice we keep NYC arm’s length from the rest of the state!”


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