Google Map Maker launches in the UK

Google's DIY mapping service hits our shores as citizen cartographers are called to arms

Google has launched Google Map Maker, bringing the anyone-can-edit mapping service to UK shores after its initial launch in 2008.

'Citizen cartographers' will have the power to locate, draw, label and provide extra information for local maps to help improve the quality and detail already found in Google Maps.

Culprits which currently lack detail include footpaths, forests, parks and golf courses, so this could be very useful for ramblers and golfers alike.

From your favourite undocumented coffee shop to that undiscovered Banksy graffito, you can use Google Map Maker to share your unrivalled local knowledge with the masses.

Map Maker offers users the ability to add four types of content. These include places (cinemas, banks etc) and routes (roads, rivers, railways, hiking and bicycle trails). You can also add building outlines if you're feeling particularly frisky, as well as natural features such as lakes and parks. You can also add extra information and tweaks to existing places.

Like Wikipedia though, this embrace of open source editing could lead to abuse. You could, theoretically, erect a giant cat statue next to Nelson's Column for example. That's why there's a moderation system in place in which other contributors and Google staff can review, moderate and approve submissions.

The more accurate contributions you make, the higher your trust rating, although you'll still be heavily scrutinised for editing major landmarks. Swapping out Buckingham Palace for a roller disco would therefore be an unlikely achievement. But you could certainly try.

Take Google Map Maker for a spin

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