UK welcomes Google Map Maker

Posted on April 19, 2013

 

Google Map Maker has been introduced to the UK, with the initial testing of the new feature being carried out at Bletchley Park. Initially, Google introduced the map service in 2008 to smaller countries like Iceland and Bermuda, but has now rolled out the feature in the UK. Users are allowed to make changes to maps, or add buildings, natural features or other landmarks to Google Maps.

The first edits made by budding cartographers will have to be checked before being published online. Following the submission of several successful edits, users will be able to publish online without moderation. All types of edits can be made using the feature, including the size and shape of buildings. Boundaries of a town can be indicated, along with definition of areas by drawing in the outline. The feature has also been introduced to other countries -interestingly enough including North Korea. Users have already responded by adding a facility for nuclear testing, although Google has demonstrated that prior to contributions from users, the map for North Korea was almost empty.

For companies in the UK using the feature as part of an SEO campaign, reputation management will be crucial to avoid negative publicity. The map of Rio de Janeiro had the word “favela” removed by Google, as a tourism company and the mayor of the city complained that the use of the word emphasised the shanty towns around the city. Cycle routes, buildings, rivers, cliffs and lakes may all be added by users, adding to Google’s store of information.

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