April 19, 2011

Google Opens Map Editing Up To US Citizens

On Tuesday, Google started to allow users to add more details to its U.S. maps through an editing tool that already has been used to create and refine maps in other countries.

Google did not rush to introduce the map-making service in the U.S. because it already had a good lay of the land in its home country.  The Internet giant decided to concentrate on filling in the gaps in other parts of the world where digital maps were far more primitive or completely unavailable.

Google said it believes that their map service can get a lot better with the help of citizen cartographers.

The Internet search leader is hoping people will be willing to volunteer to designate where their favorite neighborhood hangouts are or perhaps label all the buildings on the campus of their alma mater or a nearby university. 

All proposed changes will be reviewed for mistakes before they appear in Google's mapping service.  Google is relying on volunteer moderators in addition to using its computer to track the trustworthiness of the users who logs into the mapmaking service.

Google said it also found citizen cartographers to be diligent and accurate in the other countries where the map-editing tools already have been available.

Because maps can be political in some regions, Google said it will keep a tighter grip on data in disputed areas.


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