Last week, Google Maps showed a tract of the Manila Bay shore bearing the tag “Duterte Beach.”
The location was pinned to the Ermita Center Building with the description of “playground.” It has since been edited to “Dolomite Beach.”
Science communicator Mikael Angelo Francisco explained that Google Maps tags are often crowd-sourced from “local guides.” Based on personal experience of uploading tags, Francisco said that Google does not check tags or pins on Maps. The local guide must have enough upvotes (online approval, similar to Facebook’s “likes”) to be considered a credible source and the tag to show up.
Since its appearance on the search engine’s map service, Duterte Beach had received a 2.4-star rating with comments stating that it was a “waste of money and resources.”
As recent as last Sunday, photos showed hordes of citizens gathered at Manila Bay to see the artificial white sand. Despite police presence, minimum health protocols (distancing and facemask wearing) were not observed.