Governor Cuomo has signed legislation that will allow satellite-mapping services, such as Google Maps, to be admitted into evidence at trial. The legislation will further the interests of justice by expanding the court’s access to critical information. The law will take effect immediately and will be amended slightly with technical changes following the expected passage of a chapter amendment in the upcoming legislative session, which begins on January 9, 2019.
This statute will relieve a litigant of their obligation to call an expert witness to authenticate the validity of an image or calculation generated by Google Maps. Judicial notice is taken of Google Maps in federal court, as a source that “can be accurately and readily determined from sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned” pursuant to Rule 201 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. This change to the CPLR will allow litigation to proceed in a more timely and cost-effective manner.