Google Transitions Map Maker Info To Mainstream

    February 24, 2009

Google Maps just got a lot more accurate, and as PBS likes to say, "this . . . was made possible, in part, by . . . viewers like you."  Or to put it another way: maps of 16 countries have been transferred from Google Map Maker to Google Maps.

The development is significant for a number of reasons.  First, as a post on the LatLong Blog notes, "This launch is a testament to the spirit of map makers who have taken it upon themselves to map entire neighborhoods — and in some cases entire cities and counties.  We have observed many users add more than 1,000 edits to maps and a few have even made 10,000.  Even in countries where not many have access to high-speed internet, we have found expatriates and caring users living abroad helping map countries they are far away from."

Google Santa Cruz
 Santa Cruz, Bolivia Before And After

Then there’s the fact that Google was willing to accept the contributions of all these people.  Concerns about the accuracy of user-generated content are still widespread, and incorporating such material into something folks will use to navigate the real world is a big step.

Finally, there’s the simple matter of what certain parts of the world now look like in Google Maps.  Some before and after shots are stunning as previously bare areas now sport cities, roads, and named buildings.  Look at this "Great Maps by Map Makers" collection for yourself, if you like.

More exploring can be done in Bhutan, Bolivia, Cambodia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Guam, Iceland, Mauritius, Paraguay, the Philippines, Senegal, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe – the 16 countries that benefited from the Map Maker-to-Maps shift.