Google enlists users to perfect maps

21 Nov 2007

Google Maps has added a new feature that allows users to correct inaccurate locations by fine-tuning an address within 200 metres of its original label.

Business or residential locations can be tweaked, but those that are moved over 200 metres from the previous label are double-checked for accuracy by Google to prevent abuse of this feature, otherwise the moved marker appears instantly.

Businesses that have been listed and verified through Google’s Local Business centre cannot be changed, nor can government buildings or hospitals and other public buildings.

While anyone can view Google Maps only users with a Google account can make these changes.

This feature will be useful for pinpointing exact addresses in urban areas that are densely populated. However, for Irish Google users who don’t yet have Google Street View, with actual aerial views identifying individual buildings, this is not yet an issue.

This user generated map change is a type of wiki, or collective effort to improve mapping through pooled knowledge.

Http:// is a pre-existing collaborative mapping tool that uses Google Maps to let users share information on anything from local wine merchants to WiFi hotspots to your upcoming house party.

By Marie Boran