Null, Texas?

While testing a mapping feature on an iPhone application I was working on (namely using the built in Maps application to show directions between two points on a map), I discovered that – according to Google Maps at least – there are not one, but two places, in Texas called “Null”.

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How did I discover this little factoid? My colleague Blain taught me that the iPhone’s Maps application intercepts URLs whose host name is When developing this functionality, there were cases where there would be a nil value for the user’s current location, and so the staring point in the URL I generated had the string “null” in it.

Testing is not only good for your software, it’s good for your personal trivia cache.

4 Responses to “Null, Texas?”

  1. Wolfgang Says:

    I always thought that all of Texas was NULL.

  2. A. Friend Says:

    A factoid is a spurious — unverified, incorrect, or fabricated — statement formed and asserted as a fact, but with no veracity. The word appears in the Oxford English Dictionary as “something which becomes accepted as fact, although it may not be true”

  3. John Fox Says:


    Now, now: don’t mess with Texas!

    A. Friend:

    Thanks for the clarification about factoids. As far as I can see (from doing regular text searches in Google), there isn’t really a town in Texas called Null. This seems to be an error on Google’s part, but of course I could be wrong.

  4. Ted Todorov Says:

    Did you get a load of the Google street view of that place? If it isn’t called Null, it should be…

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