'Mapmaking companies sometimes add “paper towns” and “trap streets” to their maps as a method of copyright protection.'
Facinating article over at The Awl about inaccurate maps. My favourite part is where a map with one of these ‘paper towns’ on it gets plagiarised so often that someone just opens up a shop and turns it into a real place:
Real-life landmark Agloe, New York, got its start as a paper town, when the founder of the General Drafting Company added an anagram of his and his assistant’s initials to a highway intersection in Delaware County. The map was blatantly copied by Esso and Rand McNally, putting the fictional town of Agloe into such circulation that the Agloe General Store eventually came to sit at that exact junction.