Google Map Maker

I just read about this cool application from Google. The goal is to enable “[...] users everywhere to create rich, deep maps and fresh local data. People can mark their favorite spots in their cities and hometowns, add features such as roads, parks, and buildings, tag small businesses to help users find them, and collaborate to map neighborhoods of interest”.

While originally developed for countries like India, where infrastructure and local businesses are evolving at such a pace that good local maps are unavailable, it’s easy to see the potential such application may have, i.e., the creation of “[...] a new breed of local map experts who bring their passion for their neighborhoods and communities into the online world, adding to local commerce, tourism and investment”. Who will be the map experts? What knowledge will we share, with whom, and when? Very interesting …

3 Responses to “Google Map Maker”

  1. Giuseppe Sollazzo says:

    There’s a project called OpenStreetMaps (http://www.openstreetmap.org/) which roughly allows the same thing in more an automatic way, using GPS traces. Maybe you already know that, since there’s some involvement of the UCL VR Centre.

  2. Thanks, Giuseppe! Do they have APIs?

  3. Beppe says:

    Quite late but nonetheless… yes, they do have APIs. I think you may start giving a look at their wiki here: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Deploying_your_own_Slippy_Map. It’s basically not too dissimilar from Google Maps, the only difference being its collaborative map making process (which is now, to some extent, being adopted at Google as well).