Google crowdsourcing information to amend inaccuracies in its navigation app: Google Maps will allow editing roads, updating photos

Google Maps Crowdsourcing
Google Maps looking for user-generated content to improve the platform. Pic credit: Deepanker Verma/Pixabay

Google Maps is becoming more engaging and interactive. Beyond offering turn-by-turn navigation and interesting places, the navigation app will now allow users to contribute alterations and revisions.

Google is looking at crowdsourcing information to improve Google Maps. The navigation app will gradually allow users to contribute information such as revised roads, photos of places, etc.

Google Maps to become interactive, relying on user-generated content to improve platform:

Google Maps is getting a lot more interactive. The search giant is encouraging user-generated content in the app. Essentially, it will be a lot easier and effective for users to share photos of locations they visit, correct and add roads, etc.

Google has indicated that it wants to make the Maps platform not just a place to go for directions, but also where people can plan where to go, communicate with local businesses, figure out how to get there, pay for parking, and share about their experiences.

Many users have previously noticed flaws in Google Maps, and now they have the opportunity to amend them in a more effective way. The navigation app is introducing a new editing experience on the desktop.

The new feature will let users add missing roads. Users can click on the side menu button on Maps’ website and then choose the “Edit the Map” option where they will see “Missing road”. Users can add a missing road by drawing a line.

Besides pointing out errors, users can also “rename roads, change road directionality, and realign or delete incorrect roads.” Before this update, users could merely place a pin on Maps where the road should be correctly located and send that information to Google along with the road’s name.

Needless to mention, Google will verify the edits before publishing them. It is not immediately clear what techniques the search giant will use to conduct the verification drive.

Google claims more than 150 Million ‘Local Guides’ are improving Google Maps:

Google has indicated that users have been waiting for such an opportunity to improve the popular navigation app. The search giant confirmed it now has 150 million “Local Guides”.

These users regularly contribute reviews, photos, and information on Maps on the platform. In 2020 alone, notwithstanding the pandemic and quarantine, Local Guides added more than 8 million places to the app.

While making a statement about the new features for Google Maps, the company said: “With all the change our world saw over the past year, people are relying more than ever on high-quality, updated information about the places around them — like if a nearby restaurant is open or if a local grocery store has updated hours.”

Google was clearly hinting at the ‘Photo Updates’ features for Google Maps. As it rolls out in the coming weeks, people can go to the new “Updates” tab when looking at a place on the app, snap a quick photo to add, and write a caption, without having to leave a full rating or review.

Google Maps is also launching a “Local Love Challenge,” through the ‘Contribute’ tab in the Maps app. The campaign encourages Android smartphone users to actively contribute photos, reviews, and information to the app. Google has set a goal of updating 100,000 location listings in the next month.

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