Were the Kims Led Astray by Online Maps?

On the other hand, sometimes stories about being led astray by navigation systems aren’t so amusing. The tech community has been concerned about the disappearance of CNet senior editor James Kim and his family while on vacation: his family was found alive and safe yesterday, but the search for James continues (he left them a week ago Saturday to seek help — cross your fingers). A disturbing sidebar to this story is the suggestion — the hypothesis — that an online mapping service may have led them astray: the route on which his family was found, Bear Camp Road, is normally impassable in wintertime — that’s locally known. Google Maps, Live Local and Ask.com nevertheless recommend that route; Yahoo! Maps, Rand McNally and MapQuest show alternatives. Story mirrored here; cf. Brad Dudley; via GPS Tracklog (who notes that his Garmin GPS also shows the route) and Scripting News.

Related: Please Help Us Find the Kim Family.

Update, 12/6: James Kim’s body has been found.

Update, 12/7: No they weren’t; they used a paper map.