Google Maps Editing Hits UK

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Brits get to annotate Google Maps, with Map Maker

UK Internet users will finally be able to edit Google Maps and it’s hoped the feature will help build up a more comprehensive service covering the British Isles.

The Map Maker service was initially launched in areas Google could not access, including Vietnam, Pakistan and later North Korea. It was subsequently expanded to other countries, including America, but technical issues prevented the Google Maps service from reaching the UK until now.

Google Maps editing arrives

Google Maps iOS iPhone London

It has now reached the UK, allowing users to add features of the landscape Google has not recorded, or provide details about buildings, restaurants or whatever else they please.

It’s akin to how Wikipedia operates, although the changes will be reviewed by Google employees, not other users. Google has provided a page to track changes to UK maps too.

“Contributing to Google Map Maker can quickly transform a simple map into a more detailed and accurate representation of a city’s local treasures,” Google said in a blog post.

The digital cartography game is getting busier, as signalled by Apple’s failed move into the market. CEO Tim Cook was forced to apologise after Apple Maps was found to have contained numerous fallacies. It was claimed a number of departures at Apple, including the firm’s former software lead Scott Forstall, were due to the Maps debacle.

Google will be hoping its crowdsourcing additions can help it gain further ground in the race to map the planet. Many are hoping to take that fight inside as well as outside. Apple just acquired indoor-GPS company WifiSLAM, in a bid to improve its indoor mapping.

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