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Google's Map Maker enables U.S. users to edit Google Maps worldwide

April 19, 2011 |  2:45 pm

Google released Map Maker, a Web application that allows users to add and update maps worldwide, to the U.S. on Tuesday.

Previously, Map Maker has been open to 183 other countries and regions around the world, including Afghanistan, Bolivia, Cuba, Cyprus, Iraq, Kuwait, Mexico, Nicaragua, Syria, Uruguay, Venezuela and Yemen. Canada hasn't been added to Map Maker yet.

"Today we're opening the map of the United States in Google Map Maker for you to add your expert local knowledge directly," Lalitesh Katragadda, Google's Map Maker tech lead, and Manik Gupta, a product manager, said in blog post. "You know your neighborhood or hometown best, and with Google Map Maker you can ensure the places you care about are richly represented on the map. For example, you can fix the name of your local pizza parlor, or add a description of your favorite book store."

Users can add bike lanes, walking paths, shortcuts, local businesses, outlines of buildings or parking lots and other details using Map Maker.

Katragadda and Gupta offered a Map-Maker-built map of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay as an example of users adding in details that otherwise would likely be absent from Google Maps.

"To confirm Map Maker user contributions are accurate, each edit will be reviewed," the blog post said. "After approval, the edits will appear in Google Maps within minutes -- dramatically speeding up the time it takes for online maps to reflect the often-changing physical world."

Those who have Google Earth downloaded can watch mapping in real time by others around the world using Map Maker.

Google also updated Map Maker on Tuesday, adding its Street View images into Map Maker and new advanced search options such as displaying all railroad tracks.

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
twitter.com/nateog

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