Google is making it easier for Google Maps users to add places or suggest edits to existing information on a business or landmark worldwide.
The company has also added a new way for Maps users to approve edits to business and location information that have been suggested by others.
The new options are part of an effort by Google to ensure that information provided by its Maps application is as updated and comprehensive as possible.
“Together, these new changes let people who are familiar with their neighborhoods help provide accurate, reliable information about their favorite haunts and hidden gems,” Nirav Mehta, product manager of Google Maps and Local Search, wrote in the company’s Google Maps blog.
Such contributions should result in much more detailed information on a local business, restaurant or landmark for Maps and Google Search users, Mehta said.
The options to add, edit and verify information are available to iOS and Android users and to users searching for a business or landmark information via Google.com.
A new “suggest an edit” option lets users add information like the overall ambience of a restaurant for instance, or whether it serves vegetarian food or has outdoor seating, Mehta noted. The availability of such information can help users make more informed choices about businesses and places that are of most interest to them, he added.
The new option for verifying information suggested by others is currently available to users of the Google Maps app on Android devices and to both Android and iOS users of Google mobile search. Such users will now see a clickable “someone suggested new info” notification for businesses or landmarks where an individual might have added new information or suggested an edit to existing information.
Users who click on the notification will have an opportunity to verify if the new information is accurate. Changes that receive enough votes will be published to the Map. Mehta did not offer any details on how many votes would be required for a user-suggested change to be accepted to Maps.
Google has had trouble with community edits to Google Maps in the past. Last year, the company was forced to suspend an editing feature in its Map Maker service after some users began abusing it to include garbage information in Maps. The most notable was one image showing a Google Android robot urinating on an Apple icon.
At that time, Pavithra Kanakarajan, a member of Google’s Map Maker team, described the move to suspend user moderation as being necessary to preserving the integrity of the information provided by Google Maps.
The company reopened Map Maker for editing about two months later after implementing what it described as more intelligent mechanisms for preventing user abuse. Following the temporary suspension of the community-editing feature in Map Maker last year, Google also has added more so-called Regional Leads who are responsible for vetting edits and changes submitted by users through Map Maker.