The South African neighbourhood in Google Maps that doesn’t actually exist

While travelling through Emalahleni, Mpumalanga as part of MyBroadband’s country-wide network testing project , we hit a peculiarity in Google Maps.

Where Google Maps showed an entire neighbourhood, where we could test the network coverage, there was nothing but dirt tracks and veld.

The incorrectly-mapped area is labelled part of Hoëveldpark, a small suburb of Emalahleni which Google Maps thinks is much larger than it actually is.

A nearby extension to a suburb called Riverview AH even contains a data point for a Witbank SPCA, but there is no apparent way to get to it in the real world.

The area is also not mapped for Google Street View.


Historiocally, cartographers have placed fictitious landmarks, places, and streets on maps as copyright traps. Even whole towns have been falsified on certain maps, becoming known as phantom settlements, or paper towns.

If one map maker spots their paper town or

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