Google lets users visualize edits to Google Maps

New real-time viewer shows edits made by users worldwide to Google's mapping software

Google has created a real-time viewer that allows users to watch as other users around the world make changes to locations on the maps, the company announced Thursday.

Google began allowing its users to edit locations on Google Maps in November as part of an effort to ensure that homes and businesses are marked in the correct location. While Google restricted access to some listings like hospitals, government buildings and businesses whose listings have been sited through Google's Local Business center, other users could move arrows marking locations. Some edits like moving a marker more than 200 yards from its original location requires a moderator's approval before they show up on Google.

The new viewer lets users "just sit back and watch the world's information improving bit by bit, edit by edit," Charles Spirakis, software engineer at Google Maps, said in a blog post. "I warn you, though, it's highly addictive (almost as addictive as helping make the improvements yourself!)."

Adam Ostrow, a blogger at Mashable, wrote that Google Maps is evolving to become Google's best homegrown social product.

"Although more of a 'that's cool' feature than something incredibly useful, the visualization does highlight the growing importance of social features in Google Maps," Ostrow wrote in a blog post. "They've also recently released collaborative maps, community maps, and in Google Earth, you can now see geo-tagged YouTube videos."

Ostrow said that Google's efforts to ramp up Google Maps seem to be paying off, citing a Hitwise report last week showing that Google is quickly narrowing the gap between its traffic and that of MapQuest. While 426% more users visited MapQuest than Google Maps in 2006, the lead was cut significantly last year as MapQuest pulled in only 126% more traffic than Google Maps.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Heather Havenstein

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?