(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Timothy Lee

Filed Under:
local information, maps, wikis


Google Maps Becoming Even More Like A Wiki

from the User-Generated-Geography dept

A few months ago, we noted that Google had taken some tentative steps to make Google Maps more wiki-like, and we encouraged them to take further steps in that direction. Now Techcrunch reports that they're doing just that, giving users more ability to edit the data on Google Maps. Now, not only can you move the pin showing the location of a particular address, but you can edit the information associated with that address. Best of all, Google allows you to delete markers that are inaccurate or inappropriate, and even to add new ones. This is going to make Google Maps even more valuable. The next challenge Google is likely to have is dealing with vandalism. They've got some tools to deal with that already, but I think they could improve things even more by making the editing process more transparent. For example, as far as I can tell, there's no way to see all of the markers in a particular small section of the map (say the block where I live). There also doesn't appear to be any easy way to automatically monitor changes within a certain radius of a particular location. These features (analogous to Wikipedia's watchlist feature) would make it a lot easier for public-spirited Google Maps users to keep tabs on map changes and quickly revert vandalism. I'd personally be happy to help police edits in the area around my apartment, but there's currently no easy way for me to do that.

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  1. identicon
    Greg, 24 Mar 2008 @ 6:29pm


    Very cool. One thing I'd really like to add is the ability to add pics. While Google is doing this in bigger areas, my home town (Columbia, SC) doesn't have ground level. I would think getting locals to upload pics would help Google get more ground level photos in smaller areas.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Jared, 24 Mar 2008 @ 6:56pm


    Check out http://wikimapia.org I am addicted to it. Uses Google Maps, and sounds like it has the same features mentioned above.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Paulo, 24 Mar 2008 @ 7:34pm

    Google Maps

    I think you should also be able to add a title to an address like "Hooters" or "Starbucks" if you search by the actual address. If you search the name of the location you can edit the location as well as add what type of place it is, phone, & web address. It just doesn't link the two together.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Paulo, 24 Mar 2008 @ 7:39pm

    Google Maps

    @ Greg: Not sure if they are still signing people up but Google was paying for people to take pictures and submit info for local businesses.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Greg, 25 Mar 2008 @ 7:15am


    Paulo - Yeah, true. I just thought this would be a more unoffical way for people to add phots. I've taked a fair number of local places for menuism.com - would be easy to add a bunch to google maps.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Ben, 25 Mar 2008 @ 1:03pm


    We recently wrote an article about how Yahoo Local was getting slammed by affiliate spam. This article reminded me that it was time to do a check to see if they have started hitting Google now that the maps are open to edit. While vandalism can be a pain, the real problem is the people who gain money by scamming the listings. Full story here http://blog.eclickperformance.com/internet-marketing/google-maps-gets-a-fist-full-of-affiliate-spam

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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