I'm pretty sure those manhole covers predate Google, much less Google maps. And I already said they lack the detail to be actually useful as a map. edit: they were installed in April 1977, and paid for with private donations. Hope that alleviates your concerns for both their usefulness and Seattle's fiscal responsibility, but thank you for caring all the same. http://www.seattle.gov/light/neighborhoods/nh4_art.htm The idea for artist-designed hatchcovers (manhole covers) in Seattle came from Seattle Arts Commissioner Jacquetta Blanchett, after seeing hatchcovers in Florence, Italy in the late 1950s. Paul Schell, then director of Seattle's Department of Community Development, also thought it would be a good idea to replace some of the old and battered personnel hatchcovers downtown. He persuaded Blanchett to make a private donation, which paid for 13 hatchcovers displaying a design created by artist Anne Knight. Other donors supported the project as well, and a total of 19 hatchcovers of Knights' design were installed. Anne Knight produced a relief map of downtown Seattle. Thirteen major Seattle landmarks are keyed around the rim of the map. A stainless-steel button on each hatchcover indicates its location within the city. Each of the 19 hatchcovers produced weighed 230 pounds.