Google Maps unveiled many a fun product at yesterday's "Next Dimension" conference that will be arriving for the company's geo services. One new feature that Google Maps went into further detail today on its blog is the new availability of Google Map Maker to Egypt and South Africa.
The service launched for the two countries yesterday along the promise of Google Map Maker becoming available for another ten countries later this month. The updates submitted by users of Map Maker are typically included into the general Google Maps and Google Earth data within a matter of minutes after they've been approved, making the accuracy of these maps of utmost urgency. After all, you don't wanna really steer anybody astray if they're in unfamiliar environs. However, if you're unsure of the exact shape of that lake or whether that restaurant is still located where you believe it is, users of Map Maker can collaborate with other online cartographers to verify the maps and make suggestions when necessary.
During yesterday's conference, Google Maps Vice President Brian McClendon described the import of Google Map Maker for both users and developers, saying, "The ability to add your local knowledge enables users to add hiking trails, bike paths, and correct and improve local business listings."
Google plans to launch Map Maker soon for the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland.
Google recently invited talented map makers to participate in a competition where designers were asked to make 3D models of their towns, which would then be added to the Google Earth topography. While it was a clever way to encourage people to contribute to Google's map data, the competition also yielded some impressive examples of what people are capable of making with Google Maps and Google Earth. So have fun, newly acquainted African countries.