Maps that Lye

This is a tiny scan from an A-Z map of central Bristol:

Map of Lye Close

Only if you go and wander around Canynge Square in Bristol you see some nice houses where that Close should be:


Lye Close isn’t in the index either. Weird, huh? Well, not really. It’s an easter egg, a surprise street inserted so that if you attempt to copy the map then then the copyright holder can prove you copied it. Otherwise, why would you have the nonsense street in your map if you didn’t get it from them?

Fake street features are fairly hard to find, and we really have no idea how many there are. Fake streets, purpose mis-spellings and phantom churches are all thought to exist. It’s why OpenStreetMap asks you not to refence maps when entering data, and it’s one reason why we need our own free and accurate geodata.

With thanks to Laurence and Jo for scans and pictures.

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