Google Map Maker Stories August 25, 2015

Google Map Maker, the tool which allows anyone around the world to contribute information to Google’s worldwide map, has re-opened in 45 countries after going live again in 6 countries two weeks ago. The product was temporarily shut down in May after it was discovered that some nefarious edits to the map, like geographic polygons shaped to depict an Android peeing on what is ostensibly an Apple logo, were being approved.

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Google Map Maker Stories July 13, 2015

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You may remember the fiasco back in May wherein defacements were being discovered in Google Maps due to bad edits making their way through the approval process. Google subsequently shut down Map Maker, the tool the company used to crowdsource the improvement of its mapping products (and the same one through which these defacement edits were submitted), on May 12th to “take a pause” until “we have our moderation system back in action.” It looks like that pause on submissions will soon come to an end.

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Google Map Maker Stories September 7, 2012

Google’s map offerings build in the human intelligence on the front end, and that’s what allows its computers to tell you the best route from San Francisco to Boston.

In an exclusive story by the Senior Editor at The Atlantic, Alexis C. Madrigal, Google for the first time gives us a look at “Ground Truth”. It is a project described by Madrigal as a secretive, complex internal map that contains data, such as “no-left-turns and freeway on-ramps, speed limits and traffic conditions,” necessary to help users navigate through Google Maps:

I was slated to meet with Gupta and the engineering ringleader on his team, former NASA engineer Michael Weiss-Malik, who’d spent his 20 percent time working on Google Mars, and Nick Volmar, an “operator” who actually massages map data. 

“So you want to make a map,” Weiss-Malik tells me as we sit down in front of a massive monitor. “There are a couple of steps. You acquire data through partners. You do a bunch of engineering on that data to get it into the right format and conflate it with other sources of data, and then you do a bunch of operations, which is what this tool is about, to hand massage the data. And out the other end pops something that is higher quality than the sum of its parts.”

Describing Ground Truth to be an elaborate internal Map Maker of sorts, perhaps the most interesting aspect of the story is just how much human input goes into making the Google Maps experience accurate. In the story, Madrigal noted the Ground Truth Geo team aims to address most of the fixable problems reported by users (thousands daily) within minutes: expand full story

Google Map Maker Stories September 5, 2012

Today on the Official Google Blog, VP of Google Maps and Earth Brian McClendon announced Google is expanding Google Maps to new locations across the globe with the addition of new turn-by-turn navigation with traffic condition data, biking directions, as well as StreetView and Map Maker imagery. The first big addition goes to a number of towns across indian cities such as Bangalore and Delhi:

First, we’re expanding Google Maps Navigation (Beta) with voice guided, turn-by-turn directions in thousands of towns across India. Navigation is one of the most frequently requested features in this region and can be especially helpful when driving in densely populated cities like Delhi or Bangalore. We’re also adding live traffic conditions for major roads with estimated travel times to help you save time and to reduce stress on the road.

New Zealanders are also getting new access within Google Maps with the roll out of both Map Maker and Biking directions in the region. However, perhaps the biggest update today comes with new Street View imagery being released this afternoon for over 150 new university campuses around the world. Google noted a few of the more recognizable additions including UCLA and Royce Hall at the University of California in the U.S, Sophia University in Japan, Pembroke College in the U.K, and McGill University in Quebec. expand full story

Google Map Maker Stories December 14, 2011

Following redesigns across the majority of Google services over the past couple of months, the company is rolling out a new version of Google Map Maker today that brings it up to date with the look and feel of the new Gmail, Docs, etc. The new app doesn’t appear to add any new functionality, but aims to make its main features easier to use for the average user.

You may have seen our ongoing efforts to improve the look, feel, and user experience across many other Google products to date. And with Google Map Maker available in the United States, Canada, and more than 180 other regions, it’s time for another makeover. Today, we’re revealing a new version of Google Map Maker to help users map the places they know best and make their hometowns sparkle on Google Maps.

All of the old features are still intact, but the new Map Maker will start with a quick demo showing you where all of the functions are located. You can check out the new Google Map Maker here. expand full story

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