How The Government Shutdown Could Be Affecting Your Google Maps


We all know the government shutdown affects state and federal employees, but did you know it’s even impacting Google Maps? Here’s how:

The magnetic pull of the north pole is actually constantly moving and over the past few years, geologists say the movement has been much more erratic. Knowing the exact location of true north helps inform maps on smartphones and the navigation tools that help direct planes, ships and submarines.

This recent movement prompted requests for the World Magnetic Model to update the location of true north on January 15th, ahead of its scheduled 2020 date.

The problem, however, is the World Magnetic Model is ran jointly by the British Geological Survey and the National Center for Environmental Information, which is under the purview of the Department of Commerce, which, you guessed it, is closed because of the shutdown. 

The update is expected to be published on January 30th.

But before you panic, the navigation that would be affected will mainly be in the Arctic Ocean north of Canada.