The Dog that Jumped out of the Map

Today I was traveling virtually on google maps, looking for coordinates to simulate a truck route between Aberdeen, SD and Newark, NJ, when I realized there are some VERY small towns in South Dakota. There is Chelsea (population 27), and Columbia (population 136). Columbia has a total of 6 avenues. They started with 1st ave and ran out of steam at 6th. Wanting to see what a town of 136 looked like, I turned to satellite view.

Google satellite view is crazy to someone like me, who has a lot of pre-internet life experience in their background. I think of it as a map or graph, an abstraction of the world that is meant to instruct, but not contain anything from the real world. You definitely don’t expect the real world to seep in there.

And yet, it sometimes does. And sometimes it’s a dog that seeps in.


Here he is, the dog of Columbia, South Dakota. Just staring at me from approx @45.3829806,-99.7626551. If I go past him and turn around, he’s gone. Where did he come from? Does he realize he’s tampering with Google’s state-of-the-art geolocation technology? I’m not sure. But now I know that this dog exists. And who knows? Maybe he always wanted to be famous.