Map Maker was completely shut down on April 2nd and at the time, Google promised that its features would find their way to the main Google Maps app. Part of them was implemented long ago last September with the addition of missing info and fact checking cards, but that left the main Map Maker function of editing road segments. It was enabled for Local Guides a while ago and according to a post on the Local Guides Connect community, it has been made available for everyone on April 27.
Sure enough, I checked on my phone and I can see the option to edit road segments. Read More
This last spring, a couple of trolls took to Google Map Maker and created a park that looked like a bugdroid peeing on an Apple logo. Google's reaction to this was removing the ability to make edits using Map Maker altogether, and the community was told that the feature would be added in at a later time. A couple of weeks ago the service came back to life in six countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, India, the Philippines, and Ukraine. Notably missing from this list is the United States. Well as of yesterday, the USA and 44 other countries were added to the countries open to edits. Read More
After a controversial edit or two appeared in Map Maker alongside an uptick in spam, Google decided to halt user submissions while it figured out a way to deal with things. Now the company is starting to open Map Maker back up to users. It's doing so gradually. The first phase announced includes the countries of Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, India, Philippines, and Ukraine.
Previously Google automatically approved most submissions. A Googler would then review edits manually, especially if community members brought something to the company's attention. The hope was that users would police themselves.
Rather than develop new systems or allocate more employees, Google is increasing its reliance on the community to solve the problem. Read More
So, the last couple of weeks have not been good ones for the Google Maps team. First some public-spirited Android fans decided to prove their pride with a bit of digital vandalism, using the Map Maker tool to show the Bugdroid mascot pissing on an Apple logo somewhere in Pakistan. That little mishap led Google to disable Map Maker submissions altogether. Then earlier this week, users found that searching for certain racist terms in Google Maps would lead to results for the White House, among other similar combinations.
Amazingly, this is not the least classy part of this story.
Google is sorry. Read More
Last month someone thought it would be funny to submit a depiction of a Bugdroid pissing on an Apple in Maps Maker. Google quickly took down the edit after images started spreading across the web, but it isn't stopping there. After experiencing an uptick in spam over the past few months, the company will now temporarily turn off the ability for users to submit Google Maps edits.
The shutdown will take effect tomorrow, May 12th. A notice is greeting users who head over to google.com/mapmaker.
It may surprise you to know that Google's prior system for monitoring changes wasn't automatic. Most submissions were immediately approved, and a Googler would eventually come back and review the edit manually. Read More
While Google's UK Maps service is far from incomplete, it's not easy to comprehensively cover a vast array of British towns and countryside without a bit of local knowledge. Hopefully, that's exactly what we'll get with the launch of Google Map Maker in the United Kingdom, including the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey.
The idea behind Map Maker is that local residents can contribute to Google's existing maps, and when any additions or edits have been approved, they will become available on Google Maps and Google Earth. The difference that this can make to local areas and attractions is clearly quite significant, as you can see on the before and after shot of Bletchley Park, in Milton Keynes. Read More