Facebook fixes Queenstown mapping mistake


Queenstown may be a world famous destination – but it’s not prominent enough to be recognised by social networking giant Facebook. 

A mapping error has prevented Facebook from acknowledging Queenstown as a geographical location and instead referred to the resort as “Boydtown”. 

Local Facebook users posting comments from their mobile devices have often been left confused when their whereabouts is not identified on the site as Queenstown, but “Boydtown, Otago”. 

The unfamiliar name does have historical connections to the resort, but is not listed as an official locality by New Zealand geographical services. 

It stems from the Boyd family, who developed property on Hamilton Road in the 1970s. That area became known as Boydtown, but it didn’t extend as far as Queenstown’s CBD – where it’s been featuring on Facebook for downtown businesses. 

Former builder and developer Jock Boyd, 92, explains: “It was a colloquial term originally because of our involvement in housing and development we did there. Eventually it got into the Wises maps directory as Boydtown.” 

Queenstown Lakes District Council’s geographic information systems boss Ryan Clements says the local authority doesn’t consider Boydtown an official place name. 

“I know it does come up and electronic mapping seems to have retained that as one of their points of reference. 
We don’t use the name at all and we don’t have it in any of our data sets that we maintain,” Clements says. 

According to Land Information NZ’s NZ Geographic Board, archive records show Boydtown as the name of a locality adjoining the former Queenstown Borough, and that the name appeared on the 1982 edition of a Lands and Survey street map for Queenstown. 

Geographic Board secretary Wendy Shaw adds: “The name ‘Boydtown’, however, is not depicted on modern topographic maps and we can confirm that it is not an official NZ place name.” 

A Google spokeswoman says the problem isn’t a Google issue: “We expect it’s something that the Facebook app is picking up through the phone’s GPS receiver, which could be due to something Facebook is telling it, or just because of how the satellites work in the area.” 

Boydtown Facebook references should be no more – after Mountain Scene got in touch with Facebook, it’s fixed it. 

A Facebook spokeswoman says: “From time to time we are alerted to oversights such as this in our mapping system and we will look to correct it.”