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Wednesday
13 November 2019

Google Report A Problem is like running Open Street Map through a corporate funnel

google map marker Google Report A Problem is like running Open Street Map through a corporate funnel

Google has just finished a large update to its base map used by Google Maps, Google Street View and Google Earth.

The new data set affects the United States and includes the addition of specialized data sets from the likes of the USDA Forest Service and the US Geological Survey. The most interesting new feature is Report A Problem, which allows Google Maps users to connect with Google regarding map updates. Users can find the link at the bottom right of each map or can access the feature by right-clicking the mouse. Once an edit or suggestion is confirmed it’ll be added to the map.

In a lot of ways, it works similarly to Open Street Map’s method of crowdsourcing data and Google may be attempting to indirectly eliminate the competition here. One of the big differences however, is that Open Street Map edits can be made immediately while Google Maps suggestions will have to be run through the corporate food chain. This may present a problem with timeliness depending on how long it actually takes Google to verify legitimate edits. Of course, Google Map Maker has been very successful and follows a similar process.

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