Icelandic towns fear tourism could suffer because Google's maps show 'nothing but snow'

A couple of mayors in Iceland fear tourists might be giving their towns the cold shoulder — and they suggest that Google is to blame.

Jon Pall Hreinsson and Guðmundur Gunnarsson, the mayors of Bolungarvik and Ísafjörður, respectively, are concerned that prospective travelers may be skipping trips to their villages because Google’s satellite images wrongly suggest the regions are covered in ice and snow year-round.

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“I’m thinking of the millions who might be considering visiting the Western Fjords and then look at the map and see, well, nothing but snow,” Hreinsson wrote in a post shared to Facebook a few weeks back, the Telegraph reported.

According to Hreinsson, snow is “often the reality” of the region, though not always. And for Google’s satellite images to depict it as such is getting “on [his] nerves.”

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Gunnarsson has the same worries for tourism in his town. “Imagine someone wondering whether to head west or north and this is what they see [on Google], while it’s all green and beautiful in the other direction. I think they’d take that into consideration when deciding which way to go,” he remarked in a statement to Icelandic online newspaper Visir, per a translation from The Telegraph.

Both mayors have issued complaints to Google, and Hreinsson told a local news outlet he’d be messaging Google once a day “until I get through to them.”

On Facebook, Hreinsson also noted that a region in Norway, which is more northern than Iceland, was appearing green on Google’s satellite maps. “If it’s possible to show Hammerfest (in Norway) in its finest green, then it’s also possible here!” he said on Facebook.

Hreinsson has asked his followers to submit their complaints to Google as well.

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A representative for the search engine had not responded to the Telegraph as of Thursday.