I am in the process of putting together an infrastructure map for my city.
We have received some engineering maps (and CAD files) that are assisting me in my task.
I have also gone out and gathered GPS coordinate locations for some features (manhole covers, fire hydrants, etc).
Some features line up within a reasonable margin of error, but other features seem to be in locations fairly far off from where I found them in the field. The features that are not in their "correct" locations seem to have been placed where they should be, in reference to other surrounding features.
An example of this would be a manhole cover that does not line up squarely with the intersection of two streets in the real world. In mapping software, things must connect. Therefore the manhole cover is aligned with the intersection of the streets for aesthetics and consistency.
For features like manhole covers and fire hydrants, I personally don't believe that we need pinpoint accuracy to determine where a feature is. For recognizable features such as those, who aren't usually clustered together, an accuracy of "it should be around here somewhere" seems accurate enough to me.
Is it a common practice to choose aesthetically consistent locations over physical locations?