Google April 19 rolled out Google Map Maker in the United States, allowing citizens to add cartographic details about locations and businesses around the country.
Google supplies the online Map Maker tools, allowing amateur cartographers to visually mark locations and add detailed information about these locations. Some 30 percent of people have created maps of the places they live.
Like content added to the hugely popular Wikipedia, Map Maker submissions may be edited by other users or moderators, and may be published in Google Maps for searchers to see and use.
While Map Maker users have mapped entire cities, road networks and universities for incorporation into Google Maps and Google Earth, Map Maker hasn't been available in the U.S. because of the progressive richness of Google Maps in this country. Now Google wants to make U.S. Maps richer.
"Today we're opening the map of the United States in Google Map Maker for you to add your expert local knowledge directly," said Google Map Maker Tech Lead Lalitesh Katragadda and Product Manager Manik Gupta in a blog post.
"You know your neighborhood or hometown best, and with Google Map Maker you can ensure the places you care about are richly represented on the map."
Users can detail their favorite local restaurants, malls and shops, or even mark town bike lanes. Users can also now access Street View imagery directly in Map Maker and access advanced search options to display finer details such as railroad tracks.
Just as with Map Maker in other countries, each edit from users will be reviewed for accuracy and will appear in Google Maps within minutes.
Google Map Maker in the U.S. comes as the search engine is fortifying its local business search and advertising services to take advantage of the halo effect generated by Groupon and LivingSocial, which have ignited the social commerce market.
It stands to reason that a Map Maker launch in the U.S. will accelerate the rate at which Google can add color to Google Maps, helping better connect consumers with local businesses, shops, schools, libraries and other locations.
That in turn will boost Google's ad revenues.