A Tale of Three Ridges

I’m not sure if I’m totally captivated by Google’s ability to suggest plausible answers while I type a query. Sometimes it’s a shortcut, other times it’s amusing, but more often than not it’s annoying. I seem to enjoy the feature more in Google Maps. It seems to geo-locate based on IP address when making suggestions so it can save a lot of typing when I look for nearby spots. Sometimes even the incorrect assumptions can lead to interesting places.

Virginia



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I wanted to look at an image of the Arlington Historical Society in the old Hume School built in 1891. It was an easy identification when I typed in Arlington Ridge Road and entered Street View mode.



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It certainly makes sense to have an Arlington Ridge Road at this location. It’s placed in Arlington County, Virginia so that’s an obvious distinction. Also it’s located along a ridge as one can see quite clearly from within terrain mode. This ridge is actually the very first edge of the Piedmont region of Virginia as it rises from the coastal plain. There are great views from this vantage including Crystal City, Pentagon City, the airport and points across the Potomac River in Washington, DC. It’s a nice place. You should visit the historical society museum here someday.

However, paradoxically, Google Maps suggested two other Arlington Ridge Roads in farther-flung locations. Arlington Ridge Road seems to be a rather specific to be repeated in multiple places. It’s not Elm Street or Main Street, or something obviously repeatable like that. How many Arlington ridges could there be?


Tennessee



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One of them is located outside of Erin, Tennessee. The Arlington designation may be obscured by time, meaning I couldn’t find a simple answer in a thirty-second Internet search, but it definitely follows a ridge. Perhaps I shouldn’t be too surprised by the use of Arlington, though. It’s the 10th most common place name in the United States. Maybe there should be more Arlington Ridge Roads?


North Carolina



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Another one is located in Cary, North Carolina, a rapidly growing suburb in the Raleigh-Durham metropolitan area. This one doesn’t even have a ridge, much less an Arlington, yet mysteriously there’s an Arlington Ridge Road. Then something on the map caught my eye: I spotted developments called Fairfax of the Parkway, Woods of Fairfax, and Shenandoah. Some searching found that these are all part of the same homeowners association called the Parkway Unit Owners Association which were all developed by a partnership called Parkway Associates.

I know what readers from Northern Virginia are already thinking: how much do you want to bet that someone working for the developers grew up in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC? Streets and subdivisions named for Arlington, Fairfax, and Shenandoah? That seems a little too coincidental. It doesn’t explain the "ridge" but perhaps our original Arlington Ridge provided a more direct inspiration than might be readily apparent on the surface.


Also-Rans

Google Maps didn’t suggest any other Arlington Ridge Roads. Using general search engines, however, I discovered all manner of Arlington Ridge occurrences in other forms.

That’s a lot of Arlington Ridges!

Has anyone else used the automatic suggestions from Google Maps to discover new worlds? Is your unusual street name repeated elsewhere?


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