Former Employee: Google Maps Lacks ‘Scenic Route’ Option Because of DEI

Leon Neal/Getty Images
Leon Neal/Getty Images

A former Google Maps UX researcher has shed light on the company’s decision not to include a “scenic route” option in its navigation app, citing potential bias against low-income areas. The thinking of Google engineers in designing a product less useful for consumers is a clear reflection of corporate DEI policies.

Toms Guide reports that in a recently deleted thread on X/Twitter, Kasey Klimes, who worked as a Senior UX Researcher for Google Maps between 2017 and 2021, revealed the reasoning behind the absence of a scenic route option in the popular navigation app. According to Klimes, the current Google Maps algorithm is objective, and any shift towards “nice” or “scenic” routes would require the incorporation of a new subset of variables that would introduce bias into the product.

According to Klimes, the inclusion of these variables could potentially introduce an inherent bias into the system, predominantly directing users through high-income areas due to the prevalence of features such as beautiful architecture or tree-lined streets. Klimes argues that this bias would inadvertently divert foot traffic from low-income streets, effectively taking tax dollars away from struggling communities and funneling them into wealthier areas.

A Google map search on a smart phone.

A Google map search on a smart phone. (Henry Perks / Unsplash)

Klimes has since deleted the thread and locked his X/Twitter account, sparking intense attention from users who disagreed with his justifications. Some speculate that Google may have intervened to prevent the disclosure of development secrets by former employees — or they realize that a former employee stating that the company is specifically directing users to walk in areas that have potentially higher crime rates to enforce a leftist DEI-influenced belief could cause a major backlash.

Instead of introducing features that users want, Google has worked to integrate generative AI into its Maps app. The company has also introduced a new feature that analyzes reviews of EV charging stations to better direct users.

Google faces increasing competition from Apple, which is working to make its own Maps app more appealing to hiking enthusiasts. With the upcoming release of iOS 18, Apple Maps will allow users to create and save trail routes with turn-by-turn directions, as well as download them for offline viewing. The app will also support popular trails at all 63 U.S. National Parks.

Read more at Toms Guide here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.


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