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Google Map Maker Released  (View post)

Joe L. [PersonRank 1]

Tuesday, June 24, 2008
14 years ago6,989 views

i've tried to add a couple places, and honestly, i have no idea what's going on here...... The interface and intention is beyond "non-intuitive" – it's downright opaque.
Are they trying to implement their own mapipedia or something?

Stuart Grimshaw [PersonRank 1]

14 years ago #

I'd much rather put my effort into helping the OpenStreetMap effort, at least there I own the copyright, I can download the data because it's free and I don't have to limit myself to just roads.

Francis Siefken [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

I wonder which criteria have been used to select the first few places and why. Most are islands; high profile tourist destinations where community contributed map data is valued and relevant?

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

I went to the Jamaica map and tried to add the hotel where I stayed last year.

After clicking "Add Point" I get a list of point types, from which I select "Hotel". The tool then tells me to click where the hotel is, which I do. I then get an error message telling me that the point could not be saved, and inviting me to "fix the problem" and try again. But there's nothing that I can change, so it keeps failing.

I played around some more, and it's interesting to see what attributes ("data") are stored. For a road segment, details include road surface, number of lanes, speed limit, road condition and more.

Anyway, I strongly agree with Stuart – put your effort into OpenStreetMap instead, where your work is available to everyone instead of just to Google.

Toomore [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

Can't see Taiwan Maps....

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

So does Navteq not offer these areas with their licensed data? So user data is better than no data at all in these places.

Zim [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Well, my zone is not enabled yet, but once they turn this on worldwide, it would be amazing. Power to the people!

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Another way to "force" people to work for free for Google. That sucks.

Google Maps Mania : "In effect Google Map Maker is borrowing the concept of OpenStreetMap for collaborative mapping (the big difference to OpenStreetMap is that any submitted data will not become open source but will become owned by Google)". That is important point too.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

I don't see why Google just doesn't use the data from OpenStreetMap, credit it as such and encourage people to go and add more data there.

Grega Milcinski [PersonRank 1]

14 years ago #

You have to forgive Google as it is really not easy to develop such an application for general public. What they are doing is GIS and it seems that GIS itself is not very intuitive to normal users.

We have learned our lesson while trying to build Geopedia (geo – wikipedia). It was meant to be a bigger project (not just for roads, hotels, .. but for everything) and we got stuck with usability also – most of the users did not understand basic things. The number of users which contribute really useful information is very low (OK, doing the project on a scale of a 2 MIO population of Slovenia is also not a very good idea.. :)).

Anyway, if somebody is interested, the service is live and slowly growing:

Sorry, in Slovene language only. Some information in English are available here:
(check Geopedia quick tutorial on the right side).

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

> I don't see why Google just doesn't use the
> data from OpenStreetMap, credit it as such and
> encourage people to go and add more data there.

Perhaps lack of data lock in, leading to lack of control in the market and more opportunities for maps competition? Because if they'd push people to another mapping project which gives its data to everyone then a Google competitor could make easy use of that data as well, with Google losing all control (as opposed to just losing some control when someone embeds Google maps).

Then again, perhaps the more choice the better... perhaps even "open" projects should get some good competition so they will improve. For instance, I sometimes think Wikipedia would do well with some real competition – regarding their suboptimal editing interface, article formatting, choice of nofollow, etc.

Guillaume [PersonRank 1]

14 years ago #

Strange enough, the mapmaker over Beijing, while not editable, has a lot more info than (The most useful google map tool over China is, but in Chinese only.)

Rich [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

Tom, I don't think "force" is the right word. But you're right with the rest. I certainly won't be contributing to Google's imaginary property, and I'd rather contribute to something that will truly be shared by all; i.e. OpenStreetMap.

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

They don't force us, they just said – in brief – "It's free, it's good for you, it's good for all users, it's good for us, IT'S GOOD, so you shoud DO IT, because it's good. Are you against the fact of beeing accurate and helping other users? No? So help us!!! You still don't want? Really? If so, because of your inactivaty, all features we have launch for helping you and your future will not be so useful and accurate as expected, so it will be your FAULT. So, do you want to help us?"

(c) a typical article from one of the several official Google blogs dealing with that subject, before beeing checked and "toned down" by a Google PR.

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

And if you are adding a park you can include information/links about future concerts in this particular park.

John [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

Google and Tele Atlas today announced a new five year deal which allows Google to use Tele Atlas maps on all of it's mapping products.

The interesting part of the new agreement is this:

"The agreement also gives Tele Atlas access to edits for its maps from Google’s community of users, whose suggested changes can help the company further increase the quality and richness of Tele Atlas maps."

So all the edits users make using the Goolge Map Maker tool will eventually end up in Tele Atlas maps. This means that competitors of Google also gain access to those maps (by buying them from Tele Atlas that is).

Full press release:

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