Google Map Maker Reopens, Tries to Prevent Pissing Androids

Josh WolfordTechnology

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After a series of questionable (but kind of funny) edits, Google shut down its map editing tool Map Maker in May while it "made the moderation system more robust."

Today, Google is announced that it will reopen Map Maker in early August, with a new focus on community moderation.

"Map Maker will be reopened for editing in early August, and we’re looking for users to now have more influence over the outcome of edits in their specific countries. This means that edits on Map Maker will be increasingly made open for moderation by the community. While some edits will still require moderation by Google operators, our loyal users will recognize that this is a departure from how we have operated in the past where majority of your edits were reviewed by Google operators. This has been a request you’ve made for a very long time, and this change should, hopefully, come as good news," says Map Maker head Pavithra Kanakarajan.

"The reason for this change is that every time we observed someone attempting to vandalize the map, many of you acted quickly to remove the offending feature and demonstrated real ownership for maps within your region. We have come to the conclusion that of all the defenses available to keeping our maps clean, the interest of a community of well-intentioned users, is among the most reliable and fast."

That vandalizing included putting a listing for Edwards Snow Den inside the White House (har), and drawing an Android pissing on an Apple logo in Pakistan.

Google says Map Maker will reopen slowly, in stages. Regions will be assigned "Regional Leads" who will approve edits, in conjunction with Google's auto-moderation. This will likely mean more wait time for edits to be approved.

Pissing Androids aren't the only problem Google has faced with its Maps product. Back in May, Google has to apologize for pointing people toward the White House, historically black colleges, and other locations when shockingly racist search terms were entered into Google Maps

Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf