Google Maps Now Showing Southern California Coastal Cities Drowned in Sea Level Rise

Google Maps Underwater - Sea Level Rise in California
Google Maps users in California might be surprised to find their neighborhood underwater on the app. Google Maps

Updated | Google Maps appears to have encountered a rather futuristic glitch as of Friday afternoon.

On the same day as a major study was released predicting 200 feet of sea level rise in a worst-case climate change scenario, bits of Southern California coastal cities began to appear underwater on Google Maps. Venice, Malibu, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach are among the casualties. Their virtual watery demise was a just a glitch, Google Maps communications specialist Mara Harris said Friday afternoon, and may have something to do with the multiple streams of data Google pulls from to make their maps.

"The various types of data found in Google Maps come from a wide range of sources. Our basemap data - things like ocean, road networks, and place names comes from a combination of third-party providers, public sources, and user contributions," she said via email. "Overall, this provides a very comprehensive and up-to-date map, but there are occasional inaccuracies that arise from any of those sources."

Still, it is an interesting sight to behold, and not unlike other maps of cities imagined in a higher-sea-level world.

Below, Malibu is simply underwater:

Along with the Pacific Coast Highway:

Pacific Coast Highway
Google Maps

Venice Beach and boardwalk, near Google's own Venice offices, has been hit quite bad.

Venice
Google Maps
Venice Beach Boardwalk
Google Maps

Manhattan Beach also appears underwater.

Manhattan Beach 2
Google Maps

Redondo Beach appears obliterated:

Palo Verdes did not fair well either:

Palo Verdes
Google Maps

Update: This post has been updated with comment from Google Maps confirming that the waterlogged maps are a glitch, not an intentional portrayal of sea level rise.

Google Maps Now Showing Southern California Coastal Cities Drowned in Sea Level Rise | Tech & Science