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How do we handle authoritative websites which contain data that appears to be outdated? I have two examples involving the Birmingham, AL Fire Department.

Station #10/22 – Avondale 4120 2nd Avenue South Birmingham, AL 35222. The street view is dated February 2019 (barely a year old). At this location there is a vending truck in front of a structure that is not a fire station now but clearly was a fire station in the past. I could find no information indicating this station was closed. Should it be deleted or maintained?

Station #14 – Legion Field 535 8th Avenue West Birmingham, AL 35204 The street and aerial imagery indicates there is no structure at this address so the website information is clearly incorrect. There is a nearby fire station that has been added/moved to the correct location. The address information has been changed.

I imagine that I am not the only editor that has run into authoritative websites conflicts with what is seen on street view. How do we handle this? Does "common sense" play role in these situations?

Detour

asked 28 Apr '20, 10:37

meyerkv's gravatar image

meyerkv
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Great question, and yes, "common sense" should always come into play! And so should a little extra detective work and creativity.

Station #10/22 – Avondale 4120 2nd Avenue South Birmingham, AL 35222 (DELETE): This station is still listed on the official Birmingham Fire & Rescue Service Department website, however, as you mentioned, recent on-the-ground imagery shows a restaurant occupying the building at this address. In this situation you'll need to do some research on the business that appears to be currently occupying the space. The restaurant has a current and active website and Facebook page and is located at the exact same address as the fire station. I also came across several local news articles discussing the opening of the restaurant in the old fire station building. In this case, with the clues I've gathered, I can safely say that this fire station point should be deleted. The authoritative source is out of date, but we can still get the information we need in a round-about way. And don't forget about local news articles! They can be great sources of information that may not have made it onto the websites maintained by the entities in question.

Station #14 – Legion Field 535 8th Avenue West Birmingham, AL 35204 (RELOCATE): The 8th Avenue address for this station is still listed on the fire department's official website, however, a general Google Maps search for "fire station" revealed Station 14 to be located on Graymont Avenue. While examining the fire station on Graymont Avenue using on-the-ground imagery, I noticed that the building matched the picture of Station 14 from the official website. So the address was out dated, but they do have a current picture. I was able to zoom in far enough to see the street number (210) listed on their mailbox, so although I wasn't able to verify the address via an authoritative source, I was able to do so using visual clues. To verify additional address information such as street name, city, or zip, you could also research nearby businesses. This point was correctly relocated to the building at 210 Graymont Avenue.

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answered 28 Apr '20, 15:25

East2West's gravatar image

East2West ♦♦
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Asked: 28 Apr '20, 10:37

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Last updated: 28 Apr '20, 15:25

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