Home Google Map Maker Opens Its Editing Tools To Everyone

Google Map Maker Opens Its Editing Tools To Everyone

Google announced a major redesign of Google Map Maker today. This is the tool that allows anyone to propose edits to the live Google map, so that locals can offer more detail than Google’s own teams can provide. The new tools offer simple ways to add and edit places, roads and paths, as well as reviewing the edits of others.

That peer review element is key to Google Maps’ new direction. In September, Google rearranged the Map Maker review process, deputizing regional expert reviewers to expand its capacity to handle crowd-sourced edits. Today’s new tools take that a step further, allowing anyone to review proposed edits before they’re incorporated into the live map.

Google Map Maker has been around since 2008, but it had limited scope for a while, and all edits were reviewed by staff. It only came to the U.S. this April. As Google Maps spreads and gets more detailed around the world, the influx of content has strained its capacity. It took two months for the Google team to incorporate South Sudan’s independence, for example.

But by opening the door wider to crowd-sourced content, Google was able to quickly add more detailed maps of a range of important countries this year, all thanks to volunteer Map Maker editors.

The Google Maps team runs a pretty tight ship; it can usually handle edits faster than you might think. Improving the quality of community edits will only speed up the process. Google Maps needs more capacity, too. With its plans to move inside buildings, Google Maps will have lots of little details to deal with.

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