In 2008 Google launched Map Maker, an online tool that allowed anyone in the world to contribute data to their Google Maps project. If you are one of the users of the service, then you should know that the company plans to shut it down next year.
Google made its announcement in their online forum. This emphasized the fact that the status of Map Maker a standalone product will be change by March 2017. However, the announcement also mentioned that Google Maps will still be able to receive crowdsourced contributions for Google’s Local Guides program.
Google’s move makes perfect sense for the company since they designed the Local Guides service to be a modernized version of Map Maker, at least to a certain extent. The older service allowed anyone to submit updates to Google’s own maps using an online tool and editor. The company hoped that the service would be used to develop better, more detailed maps for more remote regions.
It wasn’t as successful as they hoped it would be. Additionally, it even led to some challenges for Google as contributors used the tool in 2015 to practically vandalize Google Maps. They used an image of Google’s own Android character urinating on Apple’s logo. As a result, the Map Maker was temporarily shut down among this situation and numerous other spam attacks and not safe for work edits.
Being confronted with more challenges, Google decided to build the Local Guides program. It also offers the possibility to contribute to Google Maps as well as to Google business listings. In exchange, users receive rewards, points, and even invitations to certain special events and early access to new features.
It provides more incentives for users to actually implement useful information for Google Maps through the service. Guides volunteers earn points by performing various tasks such as adding or editing locations, writing reviews and posting photos. When compared to Map Maker, Local guides lacks the ability to edit roads and other sets of expanded features.
However, now that the maker is shutting down in the near future, Google will implement all those features into Local Guides.
Have you ever used the Map Maker? Are you planning on trying Local Guides?
Image source: Google Map Maker