Google today launched Google Map Maker, a product that enables people to add to and update the map for locations around the world, in the US. The feature has been available internationally for quite some time, but now the search giant is making it available stateside as well.
Before Map Maker, Google says that only 15 percent of the world's population had detailed online maps of their neighborhoods. Map Maker has helped users build out and edit the maps for 183 countries and regions around the world, resulting in that number growing to 30 percent, thanks to the contributions of citizen cartographers who have mapped entire cities, road networks, bike lanes, and university campuses that were never previously recorded online. Their contributions have been incorporated into Google Maps and Google Earth, so that millions of people using these products globally can benefit.
To make sure that Map Maker user contributions are accurate, Google reviews each edit. After approval, the edits appear in Google Maps within minutes. The company has also added some new features for users globally: you can now get a street-level perspective on places with Street View imagery directly in Map Maker, see and edit all points of interest, and find exactly what you're looking for with advanced search options.
For more information, check out the Getting Started Guide at google.com/help/mapmaker. To see examples of what people around the world are adding to Map Maker, you can watch mapping in real-time over at google.com/mapmaker/pulse.
"Today were opening the map of the United States in Google Map Maker for you to add your expert local knowledge directly," a Google spokesperson said in a statement. "You know your neighborhood or hometown best, and with Google Map Maker you can ensure the places you care about are richly represented on the map. For example, you can fix the name of your local pizza parlor, or add a description of your favorite book store."