Google Revamps Map Maker to Bolster Its Maps Dominance

The review process has been reworked and streamlined

As much as Google likes to boast about its Maps technology, what most people don't know is that much of Maps' power comes not from technology but from people.

On the one hand, Google has an army of employees working to make sense of the many data sources they have and manually adjusting or adding map data when needed.

On the other, it's got an army of volunteers which do pretty much the same thing, they add new map data for places which have none, make corrections or changes when real-life conditions change.

This is why Map Maker, the tool used by outsiders to update and fix Maps is so important. Now, the tool is getting a bit of a revamp.

"Google Map Maker is introducing a new Review Experience, making it easier than ever to review edits by other mappers in your areas of expertise, and ensure the best local maps possible," Google explained.

Initially, all changes made with Map Maker had to be reviewed by Google employees. As the volume of changes and improvements grew, this became unscalable.

So Google elevated some of the more active and trustworthy Map Maker contributors to have review authority, making it possible for them to approve changes which would then go live on Google Maps.

"When you review features that others have added or changed, you help determine which changes should stay on the map and which ones don't make the cut. You can review features edited by anyone (except your own!), helping to build stronger maps of the places you care about most," Google explains the role of reviewers.

Google is now making it easier for these reviewers to do their job, by bringing pending changes to their attention faster and streamlining the whole process. Features that were not used are removed and users can now ignore changes that they can't determine whether they are correct or not.

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