Google Map Maker relaunches in U.S. complete with anti-prank safeguards

Google Map Maker
The image of a giant Android robot peeing on the Apple logo made international headlines when it was spotted on Google Maps earlier this year. The prank made it onto the service via Map Maker, Google’s crowdsourced tool that lets users make edits and updates to help improve, in most cases anyway, its mapping data.

While the sight of the droid relieving itself on Apple’s logo may have put a smile on the faces of those who rather dislike the iPhone maker, Google decided it’d had enough of such stunts and in May suspended use of the editing tool till it could come up with a better way of implementing it.

Earlier this month it came back online in six countries, though the U.S. wasn’t one of them. This week, however, the Web giant has relaunched Map Maker in not only the U.S., but 44 other countries, too.

Android Pee Apple Logo

On its opening page, Google encourages editors to “make your world look beautiful on Google Maps,” which can also be read as, “Leave out the lewd stuff this time, if you don’t mind.”

While mapping enthusiasts can once again contribute additions and corrections for things like roads, railways, rivers, beaches and business listings, a few changes have been introduced to make the service more efficient and hopefully root out jokers.

For example, before Map Maker was taken offline, suggested edits were reviewed via an automated process before being published as part of Maps, whereas now, to better manage the large amount of crowdsourced information coming in, community moderators called “regional leads” will review edits for their particular location.

Want to become a regional lead for your country? You’ll be selected by Google based on the history and quality of your contributions to Google Maps and the Map Maker community. You can apply here.

Perhaps wisely, Google’s also done away with its shape editing tool that allowed you to add geographic polygons, a feature that led to one person with an imaginative mind to create the peeing Android.

So there you have it, map makers. You can once again get stuck in to helping improve Google Maps, though those with mischievous minds may have to go elsewhere for their kicks.


Activision reveals game modes, multiplayer maps for Call of Duty: Mobile

Activision revealed the first five modes for Call of Duty: Mobile. The publisher also highlighted five maps from previous entries in the franchise, but said that the game will not only feature multiplayer modes.

Whether you want to edit, sign, or append, PDFs, these are the best PDF editors

While there are plenty of PDF editor options online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or operating system.

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.
Smart Home

Trying to lose weight? The best bathroom scales measure more than pounds

Today's scales measure everything from your body mass index to your bone mass, and with connected apps and fitness trackers, could be the tool to help you reach your health and fitness goals.

TP-Link’s new routers give you a huge mesh network for just $99

Want a mesh network but turned off by the price? TP-Link's new Deco W2400 could be perfect for you. For just $99 you get a pair of mesh-networking routers with dual-band support and high-speed data throughput.

Jeff Bezos breaks ground on $1.5B Amazon cargo hub for 100 Prime Air planes

Amazon has all kinds of plans to speed up delivery times, but none come bigger than the $1.5 billion air cargo hub that it's building in Kentucky for up to 100 of its Prime Air cargo planes.

Verizon’s 5G is blazing fast on the Galaxy S10 5G, if you’re on the right block

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is finally here, and we went to Chicago to test its 5G connectivity capabilities on Verizon's 5G network. Like with the Moto Z3 and Moto Mod, service is still limited, but it's super fast.
Home Theater

Spotify hits repeat on its Premium special offer: $1 a month for 3 months

Back by popular demand it seems, or perhaps to bolster demand, Spotify is relaunching its $1 for three months of its Premium-tier service for anyone who has not previously signed up for a subscription, for a limited time.

Google’s new Trips site aims to help with all of your travel planning

Google seeks to ease your travel planning with Trips, a new online site that lets you explore destinations, research airline flights, check out hotels and view current package deals.

5G your old phone: HTC’s 5G Hub is now available for pre-order from Sprint

HTC almost made a phone. The HTC 5G Hub runs Android 9 Pie, has a Qualcomm 855 processor with the X50 modem, 4GB of RAM, and an HD touchscreen -- but it's a hot spot designed to connect to 5G networks.

The 15 best tech jobs boast top salaries, high satisfaction, lots of openings

Late spring weather isn’t the only thing heating up. The technology sector offers some of the hottest jobs in the country, and talent and experience are in high demand. May is blooming with thousands of high-paying positions all over the…