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ODOT has interchange map online

Now that the new south Medford interchange is up and running on Interstate 5, when is the Oregon Department of Transportation going to get the new road configurations uploaded to Google Maps, Mapquest, and probably the maps in most GPS (global position systems) units? We've already had visitors come to town using directions from one of these services, and they ended up lost and in need of directions over the phone shortly after exiting the freeway.

— Megan, Central Point

Well, Megan, it seems there's no clear answer to that question. ODOT spokesman Gary Leaming said the content offered by Google or Mapquest is not something that his agency has any control over or involvement in.

GPS is a nice resource, he said, but for factual information it's not a substitute for the signs and other information ODOT provides. If you want the current information for your GPS or the latest information on a map Web site, Leaming advises people to contact the companies directly. ODOT does maintain an updated map of the new interstate on its Web site, www.oregon.gov/ODOT/.

The interchange area will be updated on the Oregon state highway map next year, he said.

In response to your question, we got an e-mail reply from Elaine Filadelfo at Google, who said the information her company uses to update its maps comes from third-party providers.

"We update our maps as new data become available to us," she wrote.

If you find incorrect information on a Google map, you can click on "Help" on the map home page and then on "Fix an error" to send a message to Google. If you are reading this online or are really accurate with your typing, you can go directly to the help site at this Web address: http://maps.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=7103 to report the problem.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.