Skip to main content

Google Map Maker launches in the U.S., allows user-created updates to Google Maps

Image used with permission by copyright holder

As anyone who uses it knows too well, Google Maps sort of rocks, with an occasional emphasis on “sort of.” As expansive as it is, there are always going to be holes to fill as businesses move, change or close and additional land is developed. Google has been good about keeping Maps updated, but there’s a whole nation of Internet-connected people who will potentially shoulder some of that work for free. Enter Google Map Maker, which is now available for use in the United States.

The Google Maps editor allows anyone to go in and update the site with new information, adding more detail to existing entries, flagging incorrect data or creating new locations entirely. It works a lot like a wiki, with user-created content being put through a review process in which a small team looks at the user’s history and the edit itself before making it official.

The in-browser app has been available outside the U.S. for some time. Google touts its success in a new blog post, pointing out that users have “built out and edited the maps for 183 countries and regions around the world.” By the company’s estimation, “30 percent of people have detailed online maps of the place they live.” The move operates under the basic idea that the people who live in a location are the ones who know it best.

The U.S. launch of Map Maker brings with it a number of updates that bring new functionality to one and all. Street View is now accessible from inside the editor, allowing users to create more accurate entries by earmarking a physical location. The search options have also been enhanced. Google Map Maker is only available in browsers right now, though TechCrunch reports that “it sounds like it will eventually make its way to mobile platforms as well.”

Editors' Recommendations

Adam Rosenberg
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Previously, Adam worked in the games press as a freelance writer and critic for a range of outlets, including Digital Trends…
How to convert WMA to MP3 on Mac, Windows, and Web
The JBL Tune 760NC wireless headphones on someone's head.

Remember when Windows Media Player ruled the earth? Before the world was inundated with versatile playback tools like VLC and countless other platforms, most users flocked to the built-in OS media players provided by Windows and Apple (the latter being the minds behind QuickTime). In fact, you’ve probably come across a handful of WMA files in your life of using computers.

Read more
The 6 best laptops for realtors in 2024
Asus Zenbook 14 OLED front view showing display and keyboard.

If you're a realtor, trying to find a good laptop can be just as challenging as finding the perfect home for your clients. Not only do you need something that looks professional and can withstand the daily demands of the modern work environment, but it also needs to be portable and durable. After all, there's a good chance you'll be lugging it around with you to your showings, so a clunky laptop simply won't cut it.

That means you'll need a laptop that's portable, reliable, responsive, and boasts a professional design that'll impress your clients. That's quite the checklist – but thankfully, there are plenty of great laptops for realtors that fit all these criteria.

Read more
The most common Skype problems and how to fix them
best mac apps for small business skype

Skype is an excellent option for video chats with your friends and family or conducting a videoconference call with your colleagues.  However, Skype is not without its bugs, hiccups, and issues that can make getting face-to-face with someone seem like an ordeal. To make things easier on everyone, we've compiled a selection of the most common Skype problems and how to fix them.
Video not working
If you can't get your camera to work or experience issues seeing other's connections, you might as well be using an actual telephone instead of Skype. Thankfully, these issues can usually be resolved with a bit of tinkering on your end, or they may just be service disruptions on Skype's end.

One of the more common problems that crop up is visual issues due to Skype not having access to your PC or phone's camera. For desktop users, open the Skype application and select the Three horizontal dots near the notification bell icon to access the Skype menu. Select Settings > Audio and video. If your picture fails to appear in the Skype camera preview window, you'll know there's a connection issue.

Read more