Sunday, March 30, 2014

Seeking a Town on the Border of Fiction and Reality; New York Times, 3/28/14

Sam Roberts, New York Times; Seeking a Town on the Border of Fiction and Reality:
"Last week, a reporter for The New York Times noticed a mention on Twitter about fake towns, which mapmakers would invent to guard against copyright infringement. An Internet search turned up Agloe and the Google map, complete with the driving directions. Agloe was a mapmaker’s creation.
“It wasn’t uncommon for cartographers to put something fictitious so if they spotted another work with it they knew it was lifted,” said William Spicer, the president of
Among those countless copyright traps, Agloe achieved a rare distinction: The name stuck. As early as the 1930s, a fishing lodge named Agloe opened nearby (which later helped Rand McNally successfully claim in a lawsuit that the Agloe on its own map had not been copied from Socony’s)."

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