Google is staying on track with its publicly stated goal to both deepen and broaden every social aspect of its offerings. First came the +1 announcement, which introduced a new search feature that makes it possible to give and view ratings of Google search results. Now, posted just this week on Google’s official blog, is news that folks in the U.S. will now be able to make cartographical contributions online.
“Today we’re opening the map of the United States in Google Map Maker for you to add your expert local knowledge directly,” wrote Lalitesh Katragadda, Google’s Map Maker Tech Lead, together with Manik Gupta, Product Manager. They continued, “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.” The new contributions — made via public editing — will be reviewed and approved by Google before being published. Google says that approvals for public contributions should take only a few minutes.
Map Maker made its first appearance halfway through 2008. It uses a browser-based interface and has proved itself beyond serviceable as a method for creating high quality maps in areas where very little online data was available. At last count, 183 countries had access to Map Maker. Maybe Canada will be next.