Google is announced the culling of its Map Maker tool – a move that it says is a consolidation move that will see the tool get integrated directly into Google maps. The Map Maker as a separate tool will shut down in March 2017.
Map Maker tool has been one of the highly used tools to edit geo-locations and listings data for Google Maps and Google Earth. According to Google the community edited and moderated millions of features to improve the Google Maps experience for users worldwide. This eventually led the Google Maps team to take notice and brought bringing the Map Maker capabilities to Google’s desktop and mobile products to make it easier for users to keep their communities up to date while at home or on the go.
Some of the categories that users were able to add or edit in Map Maker included Places, like businesses, addresses and other locations; Roads, railways and paths; Natural features, like beaches; Political features, like your city limits or nearby locality; and Building outlines for towers, monuments and more.
Google says that this particular update that will see the tool integrate into Maps, will enable the search engine giant to focus on providing the best editing and moderation experience right from Google Maps on both desktop and on mobile. Google says it is committed to bringing new features to the integrated version of the maps editing software for foreseeable future.
From November 8, the edits made on Google Maps won’t be available for moderation on Map Maker. This is because Google wants to streamline its efforts, speeding up the time for an edit to get published. Google will continue posting updates on the Map Maker Help Forum and on LocalGuidesConnect.com as it bring more features to Google Maps.
While the move is definitely positive in terms of consolidation, one thing that we would like to draw your attention is to the vandalism that Google Maps and Map Maker were subjected to in early 2015. At the time Google temporarily pulled the plug on Map Maker, but relaunched it later in the year with new moderation procedures. Google’s hasn’t revealed what it will be doing in terms of moderation and what steps will be taken to prevent mapspam or mischief in this new consolidated approach.