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User is infamous around
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Something tells me somebody will get a new house out of this.
 

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Actually a rather interesting story. There appears to be a database error in Google maps that might be to blame. The two houses are (were) back to back on adjoining parallel streets. Same house number, different streets. But if you put either address in Google maps, it points to the same house - the wrong one; the one they tore down. I wonder if somebody can sue Google for this.

Another tidbit: "Demolition companies are not licensed in the state of Texas . . ."
 

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Crusty AF
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Actually a rather interesting story. There appears to be a database error in Google maps that might be to blame. The two houses are (were) back to back on adjoining parallel streets. Same house number, different streets. But if you put either address in Google maps, it points to the same house - the wrong one; the one they tore down. I wonder if somebody can sue Google for this.

Another tidbit: "Demolition companies are not licensed in the state of Texas . . ."
I'm sure they can try. But I'm pretty certain there is something in a terms of use along the lines of "we're just a bunch of propellerheads; we suggest you hire a professional before you tear down someone's house".
 

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As long as I did not lose irreplaceable contents I would not be overly upset if my damaged house was razed. The homeowner now knows their house will be fully reconstructed vs. patch repairs made. I would assume damage was pretty significant to both structures given they were next door.

Yes, my first reaction would be "WTF did you do to my house?"
 

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I'm sure they can try. But I'm pretty certain there is something in a terms of use along the lines of "we're just a bunch of propellerheads; we suggest you hire a professional before you tear down someone's house".
I assumed that, too. But I haven't found it yet. This was kind of a perfect storm of misdirection. Google Maps points to the wrong house, the house is visibly damaged, the number is the same, and the street sign at the corner has both names on it (the other street, though it runs parallel most of the way, turns and intersects with this one). So I'm kind of cutting the demo guys some slack here.

I hope they have good liability insurance.
 

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User is infamous around
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The article said they were adequately insured. I just hope the family with the demolished house had ample time to get their irreplaceable stuff before the event. It would suck to have that double whammy hit, then lose everything.
 

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The article said they were adequately insured. I just hope the family with the demolished house had ample time to get their irreplaceable stuff before the event. It would suck to have that double whammy hit, then lose everything.
Apparently it was vacant. It had been badly damaged, and they were working with their insurer to get estimates on repair, and staying in a temporary rental until the house could be fixed. The tornado was almost three months ago, so presumably they had taken all their valuables out long ago.

My son who is a software engineer for an aerial camera company and knows a lot about computer mapping took a look at the maps. He thinks the geocoding algorithms that create the details like street numbers on the Google Maps database may have been confused by the street layout. There is an unnamed back-entrance alley running between the houses on the two streets. It's on the map and the aerial photos, but has no name. So the software may have thought somehow that it was the other street. If you right-click on the location of the demolished house and ask "what's here?", you get one street address for the front of the house, and a different one for the back (by the alley).

It seems like poor planning by the developer who created the street layout to have a 7601 Calypso at the corner of Calypso and Cousteau when there's a 7601 Cousteau a hundred yards away. I'll be they got lots of mis-deliveries.
 

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Blaming Google Maps is akin to the "debil made me do it" defense. If you're tearing any building down, you better at least visit the location with the owners first, to make sure everything is good to go.

We in the business like to call it "planning." But other than that - Yup, honest mistake.
 
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