Google Maps Turns Its 1 Billion Users Into Editors

Google Maps has had the ability to suggest an edit for a long time and millions of edits are made each day by Google itself to update information. But that still isn’t enough to cover the planet. Now Google Maps has officially rolled out the ability to add locations. Landmarks, local delis, locations of your own houses can all be added through Google Maps. Google’s strategy is to use its over a billion maps users as editors.screen-shot-2016-07-21-at-10-32-19-am

The options to “Suggest an edit” and “Add a Missing Place” were already present. And the edits went live only after cross checking. This happens through pop ups showing up on your phone/tablet. When someone suggests new info you can verify or refute it. If enough people respond positively, the edit goes live. The option is only available on the Android version of Google Maps. It can be accessed on iOS through the Google Search though.

Another option caters to restaurants. It allows you to update descriptions. You can highlight if a restaurant serves”happy hour drinks” or serves “healthy” or “vegetarian” food. This feature is only available on Android for Maps or Search. screen-shot-2016-07-21-at-10-31-58-am

Google Maps has branched out to become more than an app for directions. People use it all over the world to explore new destinations. Restaurants and movie theatres, libraries and universities and national landmarks are all available through Maps. The descriptions and ratings of places help people choose the best destinations. Information like phone numbers and operating hours save tourists time to plan their day. And little tidbits like the opening day of a landmark, the location’s website or “popular days” help tourists get more out of their experience.

Maps Then And Now

Google Maps was launched on Febrary 8th, 2005. Since then it has grown in to the most popular map application on the planet. Apple Maps and Nokia Maps and all other alternatives have fallen flat. In 2013, reported that it was the most used app in the world (54% usage). It even beat out Facebook (44% usage) and YouTube (35% usage). ChartOfTheDay_1345_Top_10_smartphone_apps_in_Q2_2013_n

What was once an app that was used to navigate through traffic is now a Godsend for tourists and adventurers. Users can even take virtual tours of entire cities using the app. Users can get virtual tour packages to see the Taj Mahal, the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. Users basically scroll through elaborate street views of landmarks to do this. And while it’s not the most glamorous way to spend your holiday, those who don’t have the luxury to afford vacations can utilize this opportunity.

Google Maps recently made a debut in augmented reality gaming. The smash hit Pokemon Go was created by Niantic Labs, an offshoot from Google. And they’ve used Google Maps as the foundation of the game. Users can follow directions to catch Pokemon, search for gyms and Pokestops to battle or take over.Due to Google Maps, these locations are literally available in every location in the real world. The app has been downloaded over 20 million times in the US alone.