Google Maps Embrace Crowdsourcing; Billions Of Users Can Now Edit Maps, Insert Suggestions & Approve Changes
Crowdsourcing is not entirely new for Google; services such as Google translate, Contributor, Local guide and even Map Maker directly or indirectly sought their users’ assistance for making the product robust.
But this time, Google has embraced crowdsourcing in a massive way for their flagship Google Maps tool. In a latest update shared by Google, they have turned billions of users into their editors, as users can now edit maps, insert recommendations and even approve the changes made by others.
Clearly, this is a Wikipedia style crowdsourced edit and approval platform, created for making Google maps more powerful, and robust.
What Has Changed?
Nirav Mehta, Product Manager, Google Maps and Local Search shared the major changes within Google Maps platform via blogpost.
First of all, if a user observes a missing place or a landmark within Google Maps, he or she can easily post an update, and add that place by placing a pin there. It can be a business place, a restaurant or a historical place.
Digital marketing agencies can now easily place their client’s location on the map, but approval of this placement will depend on various factors.
The blog by Mehta shared: “This lets people contribute new and updated information to Google Maps from more places—whether they’re searching for a new restaurant on Google.com or looking for a nearby convenience store while on the go.”
These changes can be accomplished using Google Maps apps, both Android and iOS as well as desktop version of Google Maps.
The other major update is that, users can now add details pertaining to their experience of a certain place. For example, if a user visits a cinema theater, then he or she can add feedback like the ambiance, sound quality, picture screen quality, services, food etc as a review of that place.
This review of a Google Maps location can only be done via Android apps and not iOS or desktop version.
But Wait.. Approval Is Not That Easy!
Although Google Maps now allows virtually everyone to add or edit things they like about a place, the approval wont be that easy. Once a change has been made for any location, Google Maps will now alert other users by highlighting this message: “Someone suggested new info”.
When you will tap on this message, this suggested change can be approved or rejected.
Once Google Maps get enough votes for a change, then only that edit would be approved.
It is still not clear as to how many votes are required before approving an edit within Google Maps. Interestingly, the procedure to approve an edit is available on both Android and iOS apps, besides desktop version.
Will such crowdsourced edits and reviews help users of Google Maps? Or this would be exploited by digital agencies who can now artificially include positive sentiments for their clients?
Do let us know by commenting right here!