Google Maps Turns Average Joe into Cartographer

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Uploaded on April 22, 2011 by newsydotcom

BY STEPHANIE STOUFFER
ANCHOR ANA COMPAIN-ROMERO

You're watching multisource tech news analysis from Newsy


Lewis and Clark. Christopher Columbus. Google MapMaker?
Google now wants anyone and everyone to tap into their inner-explorer and help the company perfect Google Maps -- using Map Maker.

“Have you ever wished you could add your local knowledge to Google Maps? Like your favorite pizza place, bike route, or college library. Now you can. Introducing Google Map Maker for the United States.” (Google)

Now any citizen cartographer can edit the official Google Maps to add local cafes, names of buildings on university campuses or even descriptions of neighborhoods.

PC Mag says Map Maker has actually been around since 2005 in 183 countries -- Google just hasn’t promoted it in the U.S. For anyone wondering about MapMaker’s legitmacy... the magazine adds -- this is no Wikipedia.

“Google has to review and approve each edit before it gets posted on Google Maps. In Wikipedia, people can make live changes that stay in an entry until a volunteer webmaster detects an error and pulls it down.”

And a writer for Tech Crunch says he can already predict the next step...

“Building interiors aren’t included as part of this release, but I suspect we’ll see these added down the line (imagine being able to navigate through a mall or office building).”

So why -- after all this time -- is Google just now promoting MapMaker in the U.S.? Wired says it’s because it’s been so successful elsewhere.

“In Romania, where maps were atrocious but the internet connection was good, the maps quickly became good enough for navigation in about a week and, a year on, is practically complete … the States are more important to Google than any other country, simply due to the number of users and traffic.”

So next time you discover uncharted territory -- don’t forget to add it to the map.

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Tags:
Google, Google Maps, Google Map Maker, Cartography, Cartographer, Map Maker, Multisource, Mapmaker, Tech News, Citizen, User, Edits, Crowdsourcing, Romania, Navigation, Traffic, Video News, News & Events
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