Mysterious ‘phantom building’ passes through Manchester in Google Maps glitch

It is unclear what’s causing the strange bug on the popular mapping software

Adam Smith@adamndsmith
Monday 17 May 2021 21:09
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A strange Google Maps glitch has been making “phantom buildings” appear on the popular mapping software.

Video game developer Kimberly Riswick first tweeted about the strange bug, saying that buildings were “clipping” – which is when a digital object unrealistically passes through another one - into other buildings. “They’re not real”, Riswick added.

The odd error saw one building overlayed onto Manchester Magistrates’ Court at a baffling angle.

It appears that a nearby building was cloned and is placed, so that it moved from one side of a river to the other. However, that does not explain why the event is happening, nor why the building appears physically different.

The ‘phantom’ building is grey and appears translucent, while the ‘original’ building is opaque and white.

The Independent has reached out to Google for more information on the issue.

This is not the only instance where a Google Maps glitch has caused strange results.

Digital artist Kyle Williams used the software to find strange ‘Photo Spheres’. These are 360-degree photos that users can upload to Maps, but which look peculiar when wrongly stitched together. These images can range from people with disappearing limbs, extra heads, and other merging body parts.

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