In short, that a tech publication would bother to discuss the article with an actual cartographer.
The article in question came out in The Atlantic last week, titled, How Google Builds Its Maps—and What It Means for the Future of Everything.
Last Friday, on that day's episode of Tech News Today, Tom Merritt called an old friend, Theresa Noyes, Professional Cartographer in Austin, TX, per the show notes, to discuss the matter. I thought she was pretty savvy in explaining things to a non-geo audience. Interestingly, her current title, per LinkedIn is Senior GIS Analyst Lower Colorado River Authority. She also teaches cartography at Austin Community College.
I was psyched the show called in an expert. My only question: if Tom didn't know this person, would he have found someone else? Who would he have called?