NEW YORK (MainStreet) – Love Google Maps, but wish it could help you find things like bike paths, soccer fields and shortcuts? We’ve got some good news.
Google announced on its blog Tuesday that it would allow users to make additions to its maps of the United States through a feature called Google Map Maker, a feature previously available for users in 183 other countries to edit local maps, but this is the first time that it can be used for the U.S.
In addition to adding information about local establishments on the map, Map Maker also allows users to add features to a map beyond just street names and stores. As Google notes on its blog, a user could add the names of each dorm building on a map of his or her college campus, or map out local trails for hikers.
To make sure the information on its maps remains accurate, all edits are reviewed before they are incorporated, mostly by volunteers in the Map Maker community, according to a Google spokesperson. There is also a small team of Google reviewers that provides an additional level of quality control.
This community aspect, along with the fact that a contributor’s username appears next to any edit he or she makes, means that the system should become largely self-policing in much the same way that Wikipedia’s community strives to keep the online encyclopedia accurate.
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