Google Maps: the name is Rivers Lake whether you like it or not

Google Maps restored the original location entry for Rivers Lake last week in a fit of common sense just in time for Christmas. This is a big deal for the community, and worth looking at why it matters.

On August 21, 2021 Rivers Lake was officially "born" on Google Maps. As people learned about it on social media, many were moved to post tributes, photos and questions. A large community had embraced the name, and it was becoming real.

A few weeks later, the Rivers Lake entry on Google Maps--along with more than 900 tributes, photos and memories--vanished. No notice was given, nor any reason. There was no avenue for appeal, redress or even comment. All those memories were just gone.

Multiple alternative Google Map entries sprung up: there would ultimately be more than 5 in total. More tributes, photos and memories were posted to those secondary entries, and a naming battle took off. The names constantly changed during that period, presumably due to Google users suggesting edits. Someone placed a tag calling it "Lake Donald."

Eventually, the location tags for Rivers Lake consolidated down to 4. An entry I'll call the "secondary Rivers Lake tag" was never removed (for no obvious reason) and gathered over 380 reviews whilst the original listing was absent. It was ultimately renamed to "Hollywood Park Lake" and left alone.

There's something about the original that cannot be replaced.

The reactivation by Google Maps in December 2021 was a dramatic twist of events. It was unannounced, and unexplained. But it's back, along with it's now 963 reviews. The thoughts and emotions put in to those reviews have returned. The will of the community has won the day.

It's Rivers Lake. It will always be Rivers Lake.