Google restores Map Maker Editing Feature after it was disabled due to ‘Android peeing on Apple‘ vandalism

Back in May, some pranksters had used Google Map Maker to draw a park on Google Maps in the shape of the Android logo peeing on the Apple logo. Back then, Google had pulled down the Map Maker tool and apologised to the users for the same.  As reported that time, the suspension of Map Maker was temporary measure until Google fixed some loopholes in the tool which allowed such pranksters to misuse it.

Today Google Map Maker has gone live again although in selected countries. The company says the feature will be reopening in phases.

Google Maps is a desktop web mapping service developed by Google. It offers satellite imagery, street maps, 360° panoramic views of streets, real-time traffic conditions, and route planning for traveling by foot, bicycle, car, or public transportation. Google Maps offers an API that allows maps to be embedded on third-party websites, and offers a locator for urban businesses and other organizations in numerous countries around the world.

To further strengthen the system and make sure no one is fooling around, the Google has temporarily disabled the ability to add or edit geometric figures or polygons in Maps.

Pavithra Kanakarajan, Product Manager for Google Map Maker, wrote in a blog post this week that the first phase will see the feature restored in six countries to start with: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, India, Philippines and Ukraine, with the feature reopening in other countries “over the coming weeks.”

That means now users in Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, India, Philippines and Ukraine can now use Map Maker once again for edits.

Kanakarajan writes “These are users who have demonstrated a clear interest in mapping their areas and will be helpful in moderating edits made by you.” However, she also mentioned that edits will still be reviewed by Google’s automated moderation systems, while a small fraction of edits will be personally reviewed by Google operators.

She notes that this regional system might mean edits could take longer to go live, and Leads may have to reach out to users through comments to work jointly on revisions.

Further, the ability to edit polygons or geometrical elements has been temporarily disabled; however, names and other attributes on these shapes could still be updated.

“Once again, thank you for your patience and continued support through this process!” Kanakarajan adds.

While there’s no specific timeframe on when will the Map Maker be available in more regions, the company just said to expect it in the coming weeks.

Those users that have shown interest in editing the maps to improve them will become “Regional Leads” and they will be able to moderate the changes done by other users in their area. If you want in, just fill out this form and get started.

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